Monday, August 16, 2010

Part 5: DEATH IS NOT THE END OF JOURNEY, Islamic Perspective in Brief.


In the name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful.
“And know that Messenger of Allah is among you …” (Qur’an 49:7)

Though we have already discussed about the faculties of the dead in the grave and these include hearing and recognition, yet we would like to point out what the Shafi’I scholar, Alauddin Ali bn Ismail (d.792/1329) wrote in his book, Al-Alal Fi Hayati’l-Anbiya. He wrote: “Prophets and all muslims souls come down to their graves. Therefore, visiting the graves is ‘Mustahab’. They hear and reply to those who greet them.” Also, we are told that the soul of the Muslim in the grave and that of the visitor are like mirrors which reflect on each other. When the visitor looks at the grave and gives himself up to Allahu ta'ala's qada', his soul perceives this and his knowledge and moral qualities attain faid, which is then reflected to the heart of the one in the grave. And the knowledge and faid that have come from Allahu ta'ala to the soul of the dead are reflected to the visitor's soul. However, we would like to remind our readers what we noted before, namely, that the Prophets (peace be upon them all) and the Martyrs are alive in Barzakh as the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) said: “The Prophets are alive and they pray in their graves.” (Narrated by al-Mundhiri and al-Bayhaqi who classed it as authentic).

We would also like to reiterate the declaration made in Manhaj al-Salaf by the late Shaykh Muhammad ibn Alawi of Makkah Muazzama that the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) is alive with a complete isthmus life (hayaat Barzakhiyya) which is “great and better and more perfect than worldly life – indeed dearer, sweeter, more perfect and more beneficial than worldly life.” Imam Jalaaludeen Suyuti (rah.), in his book, Amba-ul-azkia fi hayatil-ambiya, after reviewing a number of Traditions and authenticated references concludes the issue of the life of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) after his momentary Wisaal as follows, "Indeed the Prophet is alive with his body and soul, and exercises his powers at his disposal, and every part of the world is in his access, and he is in the very original form as he was before his momentary Wisaal without any changes."

However, we won’t be discussing about the Prophet’s (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) isthmus life and his (s) hearing of the salaat and salaam that are presented either near his blessed grave or that are conveyed to him from any where else in the world by the angels as well as about the deeds of the ummah that shown to him there. The Holy Qur’an too says that the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) is a witness over the entire community. As ibn Ameerul Hajj writes in Al-Madkhal: “There is no difference between his (s) death and life as regards his watching over his Ummah and their affairs and intentions and their regrets and their thoughts.” (1/364) These subject- matters merit an independent dissertation. Of course all this has been indubitably established by the classic as well as the modern Sunni scholars of Haq and Sufi Shaykhs time and again, soundly refuting the contrary claims that come from the hearts that are devoid of mercy of Allah.

Now, while discussing this journey, it will be apt to end it by a brief discussion about visiting the graves of the Muslim believers which is a natural corollary that arises out of the Quranic injunction of not to stand at the grave of hypocrites. According to the Holy Qur’an:

“And never offer prayer for anyone of them who dies and do not stand by his grave, surely they disbelieve in Allah and His Apostle and they shall die in transgression”. (Surah Tauba: 84)

Hence, the Islamic scholars say: When the Holy Qur’an commands that one should avoid these two actions with regards to the hypocrites it means that for others who are not hypocrites these actions are good and worthy to be performed.

At the outset, it may be mentioned that according to Islamic scholars, the prophetic traditions and their ‘sanad’ (documentation) regarding the visit to the graves are written in details in the eighth volume of az-Zarqani’s commentary to Al-Mawahib and at the end of the fourth volume of as-Samudi’s Wafa’ al-wafa’. In these books, it is also written that these hadiths were ‘hasan’ (approved). That means that any contrary assertion as to the reliability of those ahadith is groundless and should be discarded.

The well-known hadith says: “Previously I prohibited you from visiting the graves. Now I permit you to do so. Visit then the graves…” According to Islamic scholars, the Prophet has commanded us in this hadith to visit graves, and that he did not differentiate between the graves that are near and the graves that are distant for visiting which it becomes necessary to travel.

The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), himself used to visit the graves of his deceased companions, and it is narrated in Sahih Muslim and Sunan of at-Tirmidhi that the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) regularly visited the graveyard of Madinah, Jannat al-Baqi', and made supplications there. We also know that he used to visit the grave of Hazrat Khadija ® his wife and mother of believers, at the Jannatul Muala, the second holiest graveyard after Baqi and said of her grave that it was a place of blessings. We also know from the hadith quoted in Sahih Muslim that the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wassalla) visited his honourable mother’s grave at Abwa (a place between Makkah and Madinah) along with his companions and even wept there. The companions too wept on seeing him (s) weep. It is also narrated in Sahih Muslim that Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) taught his wife, our mother Sayyida Aisha ® , the etiquette of visiting graves and the way of greeting the dead.

Al-Baihaqi narrates that Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) used to visit the graveyard of the martyrs of Uhud annually. Imam Fakhruddin al-Razi writes in Tafseer-e-Kabeer that on such occasions all the Four Companions used to do the same. Ibrahim bin Muhammad (ra) reported that Holy Prophet used to visit the graves of martyrs of Uhud Battle in the beginning of year and said : السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْکُمْ بِمَا صَبَرْتُمْ فَنِعْمَ عُقْبَي الدَّارِ.
Salaam on you ! As a result of your patience, what a nice place you got in the Hereafter! Abu Bakr, Umar and Usman (ra) also used to visit in the same way. (ref :- 1.. Abdur Razzaq al-musnaf : 3:573 2.. Aini , Umdat-ul-Qari, 8:70 3.. Tabari, Jami Al-Quran, 13:142 4.. Imam Suyuti, Dur-ul-Mansoor, 4:641 5.. Ibn-e-Kathir, tafseer-ul-Quran-ul-Azeem,) Radd al-Muhtar (also famous as Hashiyat Ibn Abidin and, in the Subcontinent, as Shami) also contains a prophetic tradition to show that the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) used to visit Uhud annually.

Additioally, in  As-sahih it is recorded that Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri would extend salutations to the grave of Hamzah (R).  Umm Salamah, one of the honorable wives of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam), and individuals such as Abu Hurayrah, Fatimah Khuza‘iyyah, and ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar al-Khattab  (may Allah be pleased with them) also used to perform ziyarah to this group of martyrs.

So, besides merely visiting the graves, in some cases the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) would also make a habit of visiting them at specific times every year. Pursuant to that, such is the custom of Muslim majority all over the world even today. Therefore, there can be no denying of the fact that visiting the graves is a sunnah of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam). This fact is admitted in Fat’h al-Majeed too.

Sahaba visited the Blessed Grave of Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam):

Visiting the grave of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) is part of the Sunna and is both excellent and desirable. Ibn `Umar said that the Prophet said, "My intercession is assured for all who visit me."... This hadith was declared 'Sahih' (sound) according to early scholars such as  Ibn al-Sakan in al-Sunan al-Sihah and ‘Abd al-Haqq al-Ishbili in al-Ahkam, followed by Shaykh al-Islam al-Taqi al-Subki in Shifa’ al-Siqam in view of the totality of the chains - as related by Ibn Hajar in Talkhis al-Habir (2:267)  (Cf. al-Shawkani in Nayl al-Awtar (5:95) and al-Sindi in his notes on Ibn Majah).  Other hadith scholars who considered it authentic are Ibn Hajar’s student the hadith master al-Sakhawi in Qawl al-Badih (p.160) and  the hadith master of Madina al-Samhudi in Al Saa'dat al-Darayn (1:77).  Some scholars considered this hadith as 'Hasan' (Approved), and these include Abu Ghudda as also al-Lucknawi who stated in his Zafar al-Amani that hadith is hasan, as Taqi al-Din al-Subki has expounded in his book Shifa’ al-Siqam fi Ziyara Khayr al-Anam.
Of course, there are many other hadiths on the visitation to the blessed grave of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) and,  generally, they thus strengthen one another. 

According to the Sunni scholars, there is no contest among the jurists of the Four Schools regarding the probative force of the narration of Ibn Umar (R),  since it has been adduced time and again by the jurists to support the strong desirability of visiting the Prophet  (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) and greeting  him – in Madina Munawwara.  Imam Nawawi says in his Adhkaar: “It is a sunna to visit frequently the shrine of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) and of the pious Muslims and to stay long near such places of visitations.” (page 98).  This fact is strongly supported by the Hanbali sources too, including al-Qudama's al-Mughni (3:297)!

Therefore we find the Sahaba visiting the blessed grave of Holy Prophet (s) at times.  We are mentioning just a few examples here:  (We are not discussing here the many ahadith regarding the Tawassul though it is a  connected subject). After the conquest of Damascus, Hazrat Umar ® said to Ka`b al-Ahbar: "O Ka`b, do you wish to come with us to Madinah to visit the Messenger of Allah?" Ka`b answered: "Yes, O Commander of the Faithful." Hence, after returning to Madinah al-Munwarra, Hadrat Umar ® first went to the Hujrat as-Saada, visited Rasulullah and conveyed salat and salam onto him. This was the case with his son too!
Imam Nafi' (rah.) was a slave of Abdullah ibn Umar who had been given manumission. He reported that whenever Abdullah ibn 'Umar ® came back from an expedition or war, he would visit the Hujrat as-Saada, first Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam), then Hadrat Abu Bakr and then his father Hadrat 'Umar ® greeting each of them. In fact, according to him: "I have seen more than a hundred times 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar say, 'As-salama 'alaika ya Rasul-Allah!' 'As-salamu 'alaika ya Aba Bakr!' and 'As-salamu 'alaika ya Abi (father)!' during his visits to Rasulullah's shrine."

Similarly, we have evidence of Hadrat Bilal's ® coming from Damascus to Madinah Munawwara to visit the grave of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam). This also took place during the caliphate of Hadrat Umar ® and a few months before Bilal ® died. He had seen a vision of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) telling him, "O Bilal! What’s this unfriendliness, didnt you miss visiting me Bilal?" As soon as he woke up, he hurried to Madinah. He stood in front of the Prophet’s (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) grave and greeted him: "Peace be upon you Allah's messenger, peace be upon you Allah’s beloved."

As reported in Ibn Majah (2:1320) (as also by Ahmad, al-Tabarani, al-Subki and ibn 'Asakar): Mu`adh ibn Jabal (R) and Bilal (R) also came to the grave of the Prophet and sat weeping, and the latter rubbed his face against it.In this regard, Shawkani in Nayl al-Awtar confirms that Bilal® undertook travel for the express purpose of visiting the Prophet, sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam, according to a report with a good chain in hafiz Ibn `Asakir's Tarikh Dimashq.

In passing, I would like to point out that in his edition of Ibn Hajar (Fath al-Bari), the Wahhabi scholar Ibn Baz rejects the hadith of Bilal ibn al-Harith's Tawassul at the blessed grave of Prophet (sal Allalhu alayhi wasallam) for seeking rains,  as a valid source  and brazenly condemns the act of the Companion who came to the grave, calling it munkar (aberrant) and wasila ila al-shirk (a means to associating partners to Allah). We seek protection from Allah from ignorance and error.  According to the Wahhabi logic, this would make the Companion Bilal ibn al-Harith guilty of shirk ul-akbar.  May Allah protect us from such perverted accusations against the beloved Companions of our beloved Prophet (peace & blessings upon him)!

This one every Muslim knows about:  Dawud ibn Salih says:  One day Marwan came and he saw that a man was lying down with his mouth turned close to the Prophet’s grave. Then he (Marwan) said to him, “Do you know what are you doing?” When he moved towards him, he saw that it was Abu Ayyub al-Ansari. (In reply) he said, “Yes (I know) I have come to the Messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him) and not to a stone. I have heard it from the Messenger of God (Peace Be Upon Him) not to cry over religion when its guardian is competent. Yes, shed tears over religion when its guardian is incompetent."   
Ref: Ahmad 5:422, Hakim Mustadrak 4:515;  both the latter and al-Dhahabi said it was sahih. It is thus cited by as-Subki (Shifa' as-siqam p. 126), Ibn Taymiyya (al-Muntaqa 2:261f.),  al Tabarani in Mu'jam al-Kabir (4:189) and Mu'jam al-Awsat according to Haythami in al-Zawa'id (5:245 and 5:441 #5845 Book of Hajj, "Section on the honoring of the dwellers of Madina, chapter on placing one's face against the grave of our Master the Prophet " and #9252 Book of Khilafa, "Chapter on the leadership of those unworthy of it"), and Ibn Hibban in Sahih.

We also know from the historical accounts that whenever someone used to leave for Madinah Munawwara, Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz, who has been called as the Reformist of the First Century Hijra by Imam ibn Hanbal, used to send his courier from Syria with the message: "Convey my greetings to Allah's Messenger." Yazid ibn Abi Sa`id al-Mahri said that he went to `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz and when `Umar bade him farewell, he said, "I would like you to do something for me. When you reach Madina and see the grave of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, greet him for me with peace." Another said, "He used to send such greetings in his letters from Syria."...

It is significant to note that when Syria (i.e. Shaam in Arabic/Urdu) was conquered during the Caliphate of  Hazrat Umar (R), the Muslims preserved the graves of Zakaria (Zechariah) and Yahya (John the Baptist) - peace be upon them both.  Similarly, when Jerusalem was surrendered to Hazrat Umar (R), the graves besides the Masjid al-Aqsa were not destroyed or demolished.   

We shall just cursorily mention a few events when the visitors heard the reply of Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) from his blessed grave.

Two years after the sad incident of Karbala, a horrendous siege was laid by Yazid in the year 63 (after Hijri) during which incident (called 'Harra') some 12,000 of Yazid’s soldiers plundered Madinah Munawwara and killed 700 Ansaars and Muhajareeen. Some 10,000 civilians lost their life. A thousand women became pregnant as a result of the savage rape of thousands of women by the yazidi army. Such was the tyranny unleased on Madinah. As stated in Khasa’is Kubra, the famous Tabii of the time, ibn Musayyib, found himself alone in the Masjidun Nabwi at times. For days together no one entered the Masjid and all that time he heard the the Adhaan (call to prayers) and the iqaamat from the grave of the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam).

It is interesting to note that ibn Taimiyya states in his Iqtida as-sirat al-Mustaqim (page 373): Ibn Musayyib’s listening to the Adhaan from the grave of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) or the returning of the salaam from the grave of Awliya is “Haqq” and we believe in it.

Again, on the day the house of Uthman ® was blockaded by his assassins, he said, "I will not go anywhere! I cannot leave Madinah and Rasulullah."  Pausing here, a question comes to the mind as to why did he say that he couldn't leave Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam)? Wasn't the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) buried in the grave?  It is clear that the Sahaba never considered that Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) was no longer there.  Ibn `Umar related from `Uthman that the previous night the latter had seen the Prophet in his dream telling him: "Be strong! Verily you shall break your fast with us tomorrow night."  Incidentally, it may be stated here that several reports state that at the time of `Uthman’s (R) siege and martyrdom,  Zayd ibn Thabit had marshalled three hundred Ansâr in his defense together with Abu Hurayra, Ibn `Umar, al-Hasan, al-Husayn, `Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, (May Allah be pleased with them all) but `Uthman (R) forbade all of them to fight.

One incident from the Kitab ar-Ruh: Ibrahim Ibn Shayban said: “One year I went on a pilgrimage then I came to Madinah and approached the grave of the prophet(sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) and said Salam to him. I heard, coming from inside the room, the reply:”Wa’alaikum al-salam.” (Narrated from Muhammad ibn Hibban by Abu Nu’aym in Al-Targhib (#102), Ibn Al-Najjar in Akhbar al-Madinah (pg. 146), Ibn Jawzi al-Qayyim in Muthir al-Gharam (pg. 486-498), Al-Fayruzabadi in Al-Silat wal Bushr (pg. 54) and by Ibn Taimiyya in Iatida’ al-Sirat al-Mustaqim (page 373 to 374)

In al-Tafsir al-Kabir, (Vol..21, p.86) Imam  Imam Fakhr al-Din Razi writes that when the body of Hazrat   Abu Bakr Siddiq (R) was bought to the blessed grave of the Prophet *sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), it was said: Peace be upon you. This is Abu Bakr present at your door. Suddenly, the door opened and a voice came from the blessed grave saying: Bring the beloved to the beloved. 

We have many other such incidents such as that of Hadrat Ahmed Rifai’s greeting the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) whose hand came out of the blessed grave (in 555 Hijri) and the Mystic Saint kissed it in the presence of thousands of people. According to the accounts, in that crowd was Hadrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Ghousul Azam ®.

Visiting Parents’ Graves:
While on the subject of visitation to the graves, we shall now turn to the merits of visiting our parents graves. Baihaqi narrates in Shu'ab al-Iman that the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) said: "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." Just imagine, visiting the grave of one’s parents opens the door to remission of one’s sin!

Imam Sayuti mentions in Sharh us- Sudoor Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) said that when you visit the graveyard, you should read Surah Ikhlas, Surah Takathur and Surah Fatiha, and present the reward of the recitations as a gift to the inhabitants of the graves. Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) explains that these souls will then make du'a (supplicate) for you, asking Allah (Most High) to forgive you and bless you. 

Some people object to the recitation of Surah Yasin for the dead ones.  The Prophet sallal laahu alaihi wassallam said: "Recite Sura Yaseen for your deceased ones" (Abu Dawud, Ibn-e-Maaja, Mishkaat - Kitaabul Janaiz).  Scholars point out that the hadith is rigorously authenticated by Imam Suyuti (rah.) as well as Ibn Habban.    And al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar, when discussing this hadith in al-Talkhis al-Habir, mentioned that Imam Ahmad (rah.) said in his Musnad, "Abul-Mughira informed us that Safwan informed us that the scholars used to say: If it, meaning Ya Sin, is read for the dying, his [death] will be lightened by it. "

It is mentioned in the commentary of `Umdat al-Sālik that the soul’s connection with the grave is never severed, and it is stronger from `Asr on Thursday until sunrise on Saturday, which is why people often visit graves on Thursday afternoon and Friday. [Shaykh Nuh Keller, Reliance of the Traveler]

Visiting the grave of Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam):
It is not a secret that to those who are endowed with understanding, a visit to the Prophet's (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) grave is more beneficial than any other experience whether this visit is on his way or not. It is the most excellent of quest and draws us nearer to Allah and earns for the intercession of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) on the day Reckoning.  The prophetic traditions are many in this regard but are not being cited since it is not our topic. 

In his commentary on Qadi `Iyad, Imam `Ali al-Qari al-Hanafi writes: "There is no doubt that among the highly venerated sanctuaries, Makkah is preferable to Madina itself, except for the mound of the Prophet's sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) grave, which is mercy and tranquillity: for it is better than the Ka`ba or rather, better than the Throne itself according to a large group of the Islamic scholars." (Source: al-Qari, Sharh al-Shifa', Dar al-kutub al-`ilmiyya ed., 2:162). Ibn al- Qayyim uses the words ratibun matirun ("moist and fresh" i.e. as alive as can be) in his book Kitab ar-Ruh. His grave is better than paradise. He is returning our greetings of peace and interceding for the Community, and his grave is more blessed than the Kaaba.

Ibn `Aqeel al-Hanbali said, according to Ibn al-Qayyim in his Bada'i` al-fu'ad:   "Nothing is like the Hujra [Prophet's room] by Allah! not the Kaaba, not the Throne and the Throne-Bearers, not the Sixth Paradise [Jannat `Aden], and not the Revolving Universes, for in that Hujra there is a BODY more precious in the balance than this world and the next."

Mulla Ali al-Qari in his book Sharhu sh-Shafa, vol. 2: "Ibn Taymiyyah the Hanbalite was extreme when he prohibited setting out to visit the tomb of the Prophet (s). Others were even more extreme when they said that visiting is definitely a pious act in religion, and denying this is condemned as infidelity. Perhaps the second point was nearer to being correct, because (of the rule that says) prohibiting that which, according to the consensus of the ulama, is considered as recommended (mustahhab) is considered as unbelief, for here prohibition supercedes something that was permissible by unanimous agreement in this case."

Visiting graves of prophets and awliya-Allah is not Grave Worship:

Consider this hadith in Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 23, Number 423 which is narrated by Abu Huraira (R):  "…Then Moses asked, "O my Lord! What will be then?" He said, "Death will be then." He said, "(Let it be) now." He asked Allah that He bring him near the Sacred Land at a distance of a stone's throw. Allah's Apostle (p.b.u.h) said , "Were I there I would show you the grave of Moses by the way near the red sand hill."

According to the above hadith in Sahih Bukhari, it is the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) who is expressing a desire that he would show the Sahaba the grave of Moses if  he (s)were there!  It is also a fact that Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) never destroyed any grave nor did he instruct the Sahaba to do so.  So who came up with the bold unislamic innovation of destroying the graves of Sahaba as well as their homes, including the home of Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) thus wiping out the vestiges of Islam?  You know the answer! 

Again,  if the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) himself used to visit the graves all his blessed life on earth, and if Hadrat Umar ® himself went for the ‘ziyaarah’ of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) along with Ka’b al-Ahbar, and if Hadrat Bilal ® could leave Damascus for the purpose of solely visiting the blessed grave of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) at Madinah Munawwara pursuant to a dream, and if Umar bin Abdul Aziz used to send his salaam to the blessed grave of Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) through an emissary, then how on earth could visiting the graves of Muslims, especially those of the prophets and the Sahaba, the martyrs and the Awliya-Allah constitute “grave worship” as some scholars of minority sect would have us believe! 

Some minority sects who strangely call themselves Sunnis,  try to slander the real Sunnis who are the Muslim majority of Ahle sunna wal Jamaat by saying that visiting the graves amounts to grave-worshipping.  No muslim visits the graves for worshipping the occupant of the grave. Then, these are the places that reminds him of Allah and the Hereafter. According to the Islamic scholars, the Prophets Awliya-Allah are alive in their graves with the life called 'life-in-the-grave' that we do not know. They cannot do anything by themselves. Allah grants them sufficient power and value to be mediators. As He loves them, He shows honor to them and offers them favors outside His usual custom. He creates wishes for their sake. They are asked to be mediators for the wishes to be created.  This is, of couse the subject-matter of "Tawassul" which we are not discussing here. 

However, it may be observed here that if visiting the Muslims' graves constituted "Grave Worship" the grave of Abu Ayyub Ansari (R) who was buried in the ramparts of the fort near Constatinopole would not have been preserved by the Muslim army with a dire warning to the nasara enemies that if any harm befell the grave, not a single church would remain safe  in the Muslim empire.   Thus even the enemies were compelled to rever this grave and they did derive blessings through it.  According to Mujahid, whenever there was famine, the people would expose the grave and then the rains would start falling.  Even the grave of Imam Bukhari at a village known as Kharteng,  near Samarqand (which todays falls in Uzbekistan)  is known as the place of 'Baraka'.  Two hundred years after the death of Imam Bukhari,  the people of Samarqand were gripped with severe famine.  When they did the 'istiqasa' near his grave,  Allah accepted their prayers and gave abundant rains.   

Here, it is well to remember that the early Muslims used to go around the Ka’ba despite the fact that 360 idols had been placed inside by the polytheists Makkans, i.e. before Makkah (Mecca) was conquered by the Holy Prophet(Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam). But that did not make them polytheists because their intention was good of which Allah was aware and cognizant. Similarly, even today prayers are offered at the Maqam-i-Ibrahim where his footprints are stored in an enclosure near the Ka’ba. The graves of Isma’îl (a.s.) and his mother Hajrah sit in the Hajar under the Mizâb.” (Azraqi’s A khbâr ul Makkah). Additionally, the graves of Nûh, Hud, Shuaib and Salîh Alayhum Salâm lie between the Zamzam and the Maqâm.” (Azraqi’s Akhbâr ul Makkah) Around the Ka’bah lie the graves of three hundred prophets.” (Sahih Muslim, Bayhaqî) Between the Rukn ul Yamâni and the Rukn ul Aswad seventy prophets lie buried. Each of them died in poverty and lice infection owing to non availability of water. (Ibn Abû Zahira’s Jâmi ul Latîf) Despite all this, Tawaafs (circumambulations) of the Ka’ba are performed. In the Masjid of al-Khayf there is the 'qabar' of seventy prophets according to a prophetic tradition reported in the book of Hadiths called Majma al-Zawaid (No.5769 and 5965) of al-Haythami. Billions have been performing 'namaaz' in Masjidun Nabvi which houses the holy grave of Rasool-Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam).

The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) himself never doubted that Muslims would commit “Shirk” . Otherwise he would never have permitted Muslims to visit the graves. Nor he himself would have set the examples by visiting the inhabitants of Jannatul Baqi or Jannatul Mualla graveyards or even the martyrs of Uhud. 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” (Volume 2, Book 23, Number 428: Sahih Bukhari)

The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) has spoken it! No Muslim will worship other along with Allah. Even a child, an illiterate Muslim knows that there is no other God but Allah.  Therefore, it is a blatant lie of the New Sect that majority Ahle as-Sunnat worship graves and become polytheists. It is a slander against Muslims, and a ploy to divert attention from the real issues that confront the Muslim world today. And, it’s lucrative business bashing the traditional Islam!  What a dangerous twist is being given to Islam by the very those who are supposed to be its guardian!  "Aag lagi ghar ko ghar ke chiraagh se!" 

In the history of any religion, no one has come up with such an absurd and venomous statement against a fellow-religionist as has been made against the Muslims by the founder of the New Sect:  "All Muslims who have spread over the world for six hundred years have been polytheists.”   Don’t you see? “Divide and Rule” still holds good here. The Principals used this ploy and ruled the world. Now the Agents have learnt this trick after serving the Principals and wants to rule the Muslim world!  Muslims surely need to wake up and refuse to be divided which is by harking back to the traditional Islam that was followed in the past and is still followed by the majority of the Muslims all over the world.

The picture to the left are  the graves  of Ibn Taimiyaa and his student Ibn Kathir, which are located  in the Sufi Cemetary in Damascus, Syria.   They  bear a testimony to the double standards  of these groups who have  maliciously and heartlessly desecrated and destroyed not only the graves of the Companions, but also those of the parents, the progeny and family of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam), besides destroying the Islamic heritage.   Scholars inform us:

Allama Ahmad bin Ali Basri states in the book ‘Faslul Khitaab fi Rad’di Dalaalati Ibn Abdil Wahab’ as follows : ‘From amongst the things, he (ibn Abdul Wahab Najdi) mentioned one thing, ‘if I attain the opportunity to do so, then I will break down the Rauza of Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) (Faslul Khitaab fi Rad’di Dalaalati Ibn Abdil Wahab).

Why, then, the grave of Ibn Taimiyya was spared?  Every one knows the answer that it was because of a certain royal patronage.   Even Nasiruddin Al-Bani who devoted his life to altering Islamic books, including Adab al-Mufrad of Imam Bukhari and removing over 5,000 prophetic traditions from various books of Hadiths, stated in his Last Will:  
"I  ask that the graveyard (for my burial)  be an old one, to ensure that its graves will not be  dug and leveled to the ground)". (Ma'a Shaykhinaa Naasiris-Sunnah wad-Deen - pages 27-31).  This comes from the one who spared no pains in attempting to destroy the Green Dome and the grave of (Prophet sallal laahu alaihi wassallam).  See the height of hypocrisy, duplicity, arrogance and deceit when he writes a Will to preserve his  own grave! 

What happened to the Sixty Thousand bodies of the Sahaba whose graves were dug up and destroyed?  I'll restrain myself here, since this subject has been explored well by the rightful ulema whose articles and comments are found all over the internet as also their translation into English - thanks to the Arabic-English translators!   

Since the non-muslim readers maybe confused as to who the Sunnis are and lest they hold Sunnis responsible for the "Fitna and Fasaad" in the world, it is necessary to give a brief definition as to  who is a Sunni.  As Sayyid Yusuf ar-Rifai (b.1932 in Kuwait) has stated: 

"The real Ahl-e-Sunnah wal Jamaat are those who love Allah and the Messenger of Allah (sallal laaahu alaihi wassallam), the Ahlul Bayt, the Sahaba, Awliya-Allah, the Saliheen  and believe in them, and follow one of the four Madhabs (i.e. school of thoughts) Hanafi, Shafii, Hanbali and Maliki, and should additionally be the follower or disciple of one Tariqa: either Rifai, or Qadiri or Chishti, or Naqshbandi or Shadhili, and so on, because by following a Shaykh he will enable you to purify yourself and give "Tazkiya Nafsika".   

Ibn Taimiyya who has been taken as the guiding light by the New Sect himself admitted that the Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat is within the four walls of four schools of thoughts, namely, Hanafi, Shafii, Hanbali and Maliki .  In other words, there cannot be a fifth 'Madhab' or School of Thought in Ahle Sunnah wal Jamaat,  as the ulema have stated!   Even if  someone claims to be a Sunni but doesn't fit into the above category, he cannot be from the Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat. 

Muslim scholars inform us that this New Sect has been breaking into as many as One Hundred and Fifty sects out of which at least thirty-three have been  distinctly identified by them.   However, some of the  traits  that are common to these breakaway groups  are militancy, aggression and intolerance, in addition to their trying to outdo one another in their disrespect of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) and destroying the graves of  his Companions, parents, progeny, family, as well as the graves  of Awliya-Allah.  

Imam al-Tirmidhi (4/2167) reported on the authority of Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), who said: "Verily my Ummah would not agree (or he said the Ummah of Muhammad) would not agree upon error and Allah's hand is over the group and whoever dissents from them departs to Hell." (see also Mishkat, 1/173). 

For the benefit  of  a layman, Janaab Abdul Hakim Murad,  gives a simple yardstick to know whether a doctrine or practise is orthodox or heretical: The Muslim is required to find out whether it is recognised by the majority of Muslim scholars.  As a layman, I couldn't agree with him more! But there is a caveat: In order to twist Islam to suit the desired goals of the new sect (which keeps on changing its name from time to time), tampering with the Islamic books has become a cottage industry.  Especially at risks are the English translations  of those classical books.  So the next time you don't find a particular hadith or some pages or citations from other Islamic books you know what has happened.  Right from the Sahih of Imam Bukhari to Riyadh as-Saliheen of Imam Nawawi  and commentaries of Qur'an - none has been spared.  Worst of all, the new words and doctrines manufactured in these factories have been  falsely attributed to the righteous ulema and the innocent Muslim does not know about it.  But that's another subject!

Lastly, I need to explain that the slight digression from the main subject was very much essential since the diversion is innately connected with our subject, and many questions would have remained unanswered in the mind of the dear readers, as I am sure many still are!  

Say: If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates or your kindred; the wealth you have gained; the commerce in which you fear a decline or the dwellings in which you delight – are dearer to you than Allah, or His apostle, or the striving in His cause; then wait until Allah brings about His decision: and Allah guides not the rebellious.” (Qur'an: 9:24)

Allah and His Rasool (s) know best!


Allah bless and greet the Prophet, his Family, and all his Companions. Wal-hamdu lillahi Rabb al-`alamin.


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