Wednesday, July 13, 2011


From the Layman’s Desk-14 - Continued.
Part 5:

Merits of visiting Prophet [sal Allahu alayhi wasallam]:

Hafidh Ibn Kathir writes: Ka’ab (Ta’bee) said to Aisha ® that 70,000 angels visit the grave of our Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wassallam) in the morning and the same in the evening who recite Durood (Blessing) on our Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wassallam).

Hafidh Ibn Qayyim writes:   ‘Whenever you are present at our Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wassallam) grave, cry as much as you can when you are making your Du’as.  Because on the Day of Judgement your tears will be weighed in the scales, to visit our Prophet’s [May Allah bless Him and grant Him peace] grave is the best thing you can do to receive a very high reward than any other.   [Qaseedah-Nu-numia page 180 by Hafidh Ibn Qayyim]   

Allamah Ibn Jawzi writes that: Our Prophet [May Allah bless Him and grant Him peace] said:  To come and see me while I am alive, is called Hijrat, and it is the same as to come to see me after I have passed away.  [Talbis-Iblis  page 200]  Muslims have been travelling to visit our Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wassallam) grave from the beginning and will do so till the end.    When Muslims reach our Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wassallam) grave they read their salaams and make Du'a through (Waseela) our Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wassallam)  - and they also make Du'a that help us on the Day of Judgement, and this is all permissible.

As Imam Ghazali, who was a great scholar (d.505 Hijri/1111 c.e) said regarding the visit of the Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wassallam) tomb or Mausoleum that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wassallam) said that if anyone having sound finance, sound position and sound health, fails to visit my tomb or Mausoleum then he is disloyal to me (he has done injustice to me, he has grieved me). Imam Ghazali has stated this in his book ‘Hayatul Uloom’ along with many other Traditions of the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wassallam).

Ibne Hajar Haitami Makki Shafii, has cited many logical arguments that the Holy places must be visited and there is no prohibition.
Narrated Abdullah Ibn Umar:  Allah's Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon him) said: Whoever visits my grave after my death it is same as he has visited me in my life. [Tibrani Volume 012: Hadith Number 406, Bayhaqi Shab ul Iman Volume 003: Hadith Number 489. It has also been mentioned by Imam Ghazali in Ihya. (p.348, Book of the secrets of Hajj, Chapter ‘the visiting of Madinah and its etiquettes, Ihya Ulum al-Din.]

Qadi ‘Iyad  mentions the same Hadith in his book Al-Shifa, from Imam Baihaqi with the words ‘Whoever visits me after my death, it as if he  visited me while I was alive.’ (p.265, Muhammad- Messenger of Allah. Ash-Shifa of Qadi Iyad. Translated by Aisha Bewley.  Madinah Press Granada.1991.)

Narrated by al-Daraqutni, al-Dulabi, al-Bayhaqi, Khatib al-Baghdadi, al-`Uqayli, Ibn `Adiy, Tabarani, and Ibn Khuzaymah in his Sahih, all through various chains going back to Musa ibn Hilal al-`Abdiyy from Ubayd Allah Ibn Umar, both from Nafi`, from Ibn `Umar:  "Whoever visits my grave, it becomes incumbent upon me to intercede for him."
Therefore, visiting the grave of Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wassallam) is part of the Sunnah and is both excellent and desirable and visiting him now is tantamount to visiting him during his lifetime on earth.
One of the many hadith scholars who considered it authentic is  Ibn Hajar’s student,  the hadith master al-Sakhawi,  in Qawl al-Badih who said (p.160):  "The emphasis and encouragement on visiting his noble grave is mentioned in numerous ahadith, and it would suffice to show this if there were the only  hadith whereby the truthful and God-confirmed Prophet [sal Allahu alayhi wasallam] promises that his intercession among other things becomes obligatory for whoever visits him, and the Imams are in complete agreement from the time directly after his passing until our own time that this is among the best acts of drawing near to Allah."
[Dhahabi declared this chain hasan (fair) as narrated, in "Mizan al- i`tidal," vol. 4, p. 226: "Huwa salih al-hadith" which means:"He -- Musa ibn Hilal -- is good in his narrations." Al-Sakhawi confirmed him in the "Maqasid al-hasana", while al-Subki declared it sahih according to Samhudi in Sa`adat al-dârayn 1:77. Ibn `Adiyy said: "He [Musa ibn Hilal] is most likely acceptable; other people have called him 'unknown' and this is not true... He is one of the shuyukhs of Imam Ahmad and most of them are trustworthy." al-Kamil fi al-Du`afa (6:2350). Albani declared him "thabit al-riwaya" (of established reliability) in his Irwa' 4:338. About `Ubayd Allah ibn `Umar al-`Umari: - Dhahabi calls him "saduq hasan al-hadith" [truthful, of fair narrations] al-Mughni 1:348; - Sakhawi says of him "salih al-hadith" [of sound narrations] al-tuhfat al-latifat 3:366; - Ibn Mu`in said to Darimi about him: "salih thiqat" [sound and reliable] al-kamil 4:1459.]
[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.]
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 ®,  since it has been adduced time and again by the jurists to support the strong desirability of visiting the Prophet  [sal Allahu alayhi wasallam] and greeting  him – in Madina Munawwara. It is significant to note that this is one of the texts that has been adduced by the ulama of Islam to derive the obligation or recommendation of visiting the Prophet's grave and seeking him as "wasilat" (intermediary/means). [See the chapter on visiting the Prophet's grave in Imam Nawawi's "al-Adhkar" and in Qadi `Iyad's  "al-Shifa."] 
Also, Sunni scholars have adduced the hadîth "Whoever visits my grave, my intercession will be guaranteed for him" as proof against Ibn Taymiyya's hollow claim that "all the hadîths that concern the merit of visitation are weak or rather forged" and denounced Ibn Taymiyya's unprecedented fatwâ as a flagrant innovation. 
Mulla Ali al-Qari in his book Sharhu sh-Shafa, vol. 2, stated: "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."
Ibn al-Jawzi writes in Muthir Al-Gharam Al-Sakin Ila Ashraf Al-Amakin in the Chapter on Visiting the Grave of The Prophet:   He who visits the grave of Allah's Messenger should stand while visiting him with in most respectful manner possible, as if he were with him in his lifetime. Ibn `Umar narrates that Allah's Messenger said: "He who performs pilgrimage then visits my grave after my death, is like those who visited me during my lifetime." Ibn `Umar narrates: Allah's Messenger said, "He who visits my grave becomes eligible for my intercession." Anas narrates: Allah's Messenger said: "He who visits me in Madina counting on his visit to me (muhtasiban), I will be his witness and intercessor on the day of Judgment."
Imam Malik (712-795 c.e.) was from the generation of Taba-Tabiin.  He was asked the following question by the Caliph Abu Ja`far al-Mansur  (reign 754-775 c.e.): When he had made Hajj, then visited the grave of the Prophet(sal Allahu alayhi wassallam) he asked Imam Malik saying: "Oh Abu Abdullah, should I face the Qiblah and supplicate, or face the grave of the prophet? Maalik said: "How could you turn your face away from him? While he is your intercessor and the intercessor of your father Adam(as) on the Day of Judgment to Allah. Nay! Face him! Ask for his intercession, and Allah(swt) will make him your intercessor. Allah(swt) has said: If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah's forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful. (4:64)"  [Narrated by Qadi Iyad in  ash-Shifā (2:596), Subkī in Shifā’-us-siqām fī ziyārat khayr-il-anām, Samhūdī in Khulāsat-ul-wafā, Qastallānī in al-Mawāhib-ul-laduniyyah, Ibn Jamā‘ah in Hidāyat-us-sālik and Ibn Hajar Haythamī in al-Jawhar-ul-munazzam and Tuhfat al-Zawwar, and others.]
Thus we also learn that the Quranic verse (4:64) indicates that Rasulullah will intercede and his shafa' a (intercession) will be accepted. Also, it commands us to visit the Prophet's shrine and ask for shafa'a.  But as we know, the hypocrites are not interested to ask the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wassallam) to ask Allah to forgive them!  The words "he is the means (wasilat) of you and your father Adam's forgiveness to Allah" are confirmed by the verses whereby the Prophet is witness over all communities and people including their Prophets (Quranic verses: 2:143, 3:81, 4:41, 33:7) as well as the sound hadith of his intercession over all prophets on behalf of all believers in Sahih al-Bukhari (Kitab al-tawhid). Furthermore, it is also established from the verse "And Adam received words from his Lord and He relented towards him" (2:37) that Adam has been forgiven. Ayyub Sabri Pasha (d.1302/1890) comments in his book, Mir’at al-Madina regarding the advice given to the Caliph al-Mansur.  He says that this shows that those who pray in front of the Hujrat as-Saada should be very vigilant, that it is not appropriate to say long in Madinah for those who cannot show the modesty and respect due to that place. 
Ibn Abi Fudayk said, "I heard some people who lived during the same era, we heard that anyone who stands at the Prophet's grave and recite this verse, Inna Allaha wa mala'ikatahu yusalluna `ala al-Nabi (Al-Ahzab 56) and then say: Salla Allahu `alaika ya Muhammad and seventy times, an angel will call out to him: "May Allah send blessings on you, O So-and-so! No need of yours will go from hence unfulfilled."
Thus it is as clear as crystal that those who visit Prophet [sal Allahu alayhi wasallam] are in his security, promise of safety and protection!
Ibn Umar ® relates that the Messenger of Allah [sal Allahu alayhi wasallam] said:  “Whoever makes pilgrimage and does not visit me, has oppressed me. (Narrated by al-Dāraqutnī in his Sunan)  Abū Ghudda said: “It is not forged as Ibn al-Jawzī and Ibn Taymiyya said, rather, a number of scholars considered its chain fair, and a number considered it weak.”  Al-‘Uqaylī in al-Du‘afā’ (4:170) declared the chains of Ibn ‘Umar’s narration “soft” (layyina) as did al-Dhahabī, the latter adding as did al-Bayhaqī and al-Fattanī in  Tadhkirat al-Mawduat – that they strengthened each other as none contains any liar nor forger,as stated by al-Suyūti in al-Durar al-Muntathira, al-Munāwī, and al-‘Ajlūnī in Kashf al-Khafā (2:328-329).
Of course, there are many other hadiths on the visitation to the blessed grave of the Holy Prophet [sal Allahu alayhi wasallam] and, generally, they thus strengthen one another.  Imam Qastallani (reh.) states in his Muwaahib al-Laduniyya that the one who does not perform the Ziyaarat despite wealth, has acted unjustly indeed.  There is also in the hadith: "Between my grave and my pulpit lies a grove from the groves of Paradise" (Bukhari and Muslim) and: "Madina is a great good for them, if they but knew!" (al-Bazzar with a sound chain, Tabarani with a fair chain, and Ahmad in the Musnad) and: "Whoever is able to die in Madina let him die there, for verily I intercede for him who dies there".

In view of the Qur’anic injunction: Whoever has obeyed the Apostle, has obeyed God” (4:82) and the  prophetic tradition which states that no one shall meet Allah who has not first met the Prophet [sal Allahu alayhi wasallam], it is prudent, wise and advisable not to neglect the very important aspect of visiting the sacred shrine of Holy Prophet (sallal laahu ‘alaihi wssallam) In order to earn rich spiritual and worldly rewards as well as the intercession of the Holy Prophet [sal Allahu alayhi wasallam]. 

According to the righteous Islamic scholars, they  are positive that no one in the world will ever be able to bring forth a Sahih report from the Salaf or Khalaf prohibiting visiting the grave of the Prophet Mohammad (sal Allahu alayhi wassallam) for tabarruk  and tawassul by him after his death.

Raising of voice is prohibited in the presence of Prophet [sal Allahu alayhi wasallam]:

It is proven from the Qur’an that one ought not to raise even   one’s voice in the presence of the Holy Prophet [sal Allahu alayhi wasallam]: O' you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet (sallal laahu’alaihi wassallam), nor speak aloud to him in talk, as you may speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds become vain and you perceive not. Those that lower their voices in the presence of Allah's Messenger[sal Allahu alayhi wasallam],  their hearts has Allah  tested for piety: for them is Forgiveness and a great Reward.  (Al-Hujraat 2-3).   The accounts in the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir and Durre Mansoor tell us of the effect it had on Abu Bakr ®, Umar ® and especially on Thabit bin Qais ®, which we need not dwell upon here.   The Sahaba used to sit so cautiously as if birds were sitting on their heads and if they moved the birds would fly away.  This posture is evident from prophetic traditions (Abu Dawud, 4753; An-Nasa’i, 2058; and others).  Allah said in another verse, 'Make not the calling of the Messenger (Muhammad) among you as your calling of one another' [Soorah an-Nur (24): 63].
We noted before that we believe and confirm that the Holy Prophet [sal Allahu alayhi wasallam] is alive and provided for in his grave and cited the relevant authorities.  For our purpose it is pointed out that after the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu ‘alaihi) assumed the veil of departure from this material world, the practice of speaking in low tones in the vicinity of the holy grave and in Masjidun Nabawi was continued, since the Sahaba ® were conscious of the fact that the Holy Prophet [sal Allahu alayhi wasallam] is alive in body and soul. 
In Bukhari Shareef it is mentioned once during his Caliphate,  Hadhrat Umar ® heard two young men raising their voice in the Prophet’s Masjid.  So he asked them, “Do you realize where you are?” But before they could answer the asked them, “Where are you both from?”  They replied they were from Taif.  He then told them, “Had you been from Madinah Munawwara I would have given you both severe lashings for raising you voices in the Masjid of Allah’s Messenger (sallal laahu ‘alahi wassallam). 
Al-Kandhalwi writes in Fazail-e-Haj that, whenever Aisha ® heard any noise near the sacred grave, she used to send some one or the other to those making the noise with a request that they should maintain silence as the noise disturbs the Holy Prophet [sal Allahu alayhi wasallam].  Also, that once Hadhrat Ali ® needed a new door for his house.  He instructed the carpenter to do the job of making a door at Baqi so that the noise may not reach the Holy Prophet [sal Allahu alayhi wasallam].
At the time of burial of Hasan ibn 'Ali (‘a), when a section of the people had made an uproar, Husayn ibn 'Ali (‘a), immediately recited the following verse in order to silence them.   “O you who believe! Do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet, and do not speak loud to him”. (Hujraat: 2)
Slightest disrespect to the Holy Prophet [sal Allahu alayhi wasallam] means blasphemy while honouring him (s) is part of faith.   Allah cautioned  the believers not to raise their voices over that of the Holy Prophet [sal Allahu alayhi wasallam] or to even speak out loudly to one another in his presence.  Thus we are told to show respect (taazeem) and honour (tauqeer) in the court of Rasool Allah [sal Allahu alayhi wasallam].   According to Imam Sawi (Hashiyat al-Sawi ‘ala Tasir al-Jalalayn, 3:149), it is not permissible to call the Prophet [sal Allahu alayhi wasallam] in any manner that does not imply veneration and this applies both during his life and after his departure from this world.  Qadi ‘Iyad too has mentioned many instances of such respect the details of which could be gleaned from his Ash-Shifa, Volume 2, page 27. 
In Sharh Shifa it is mentioned that Muhammad bin Maslama ® said:  “No one is allowed to raise his voice in the Masjid while speaking.”  Imam Qastalani (d.923 A.H.) writes in Mawahib al-Laduniya that the same respect, as was shown to the Holy Prophet [sal Allahu alayhi wasallam] during his lifetime,  should be observed because he is indeed alive in his grave.  As mentioned in Tafsir ul Qurtubi (16:278-279) Qadi Abu Bakr ibn Arabi said:  The respect for Prophet [sal Allahu alayhi wasallam] is the same whether during his life and after his passing away.  Otherwise the consequences will be as the Holy Qur’an says:  Those who vex the messenger of Allah, for them there is a painful doom] (9:61).   
To continue Insha Allah…


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