Author(s): Ayatullah Jafar Subhani

Translator(s): Jalil Dorrani

Publisher(s): Naba Organization

Category: Hajj (Pilgrimage)

Topic Tags: Wahhabism Beliefs analysis Tawassul

Language: Malay


The author provides an introduction to the life of the founder of Wahhabism and an in depth analysis of the beliefs of Wahhabi School of thought in the light of Quran, Hadith, and logical reasoning. The title deals with following topics: Construction of graves, Ziyara, Tawassul, Shafa’a, Nadhr, Commemorating the birth and death anniversaries of Awliya Allah, and Political and Social dimensions of Hajj.

Familiarity With The Life of The Founder of Wahhabism


Wahhabism is ascribed unto Shaykh Muhammad, the son of ’Abd al-Wahhab of Najd. This ascription has been derived from the name of his father ’Abd al-Wahhab. And as some scholars put it, the reason why this creed has not been attributed to Shaykh Muhammad himself and has not been called Muhammadiyyah is for fear lest the followers of this creed would find a kind of association with the name of the Holy Prophet (s)(1) and would misuse this ascription. Shaykh Muhammad was born in 1115 A.H. in the city of ‘Uyayna which was located in Najd. His father was a judge in this city.

Ever since his childhood, Shaykh Muhammad had a great liking for the study of books on tafsir (Qur’anic interpretation), hadith (tradition), and aqa’id (principles of beliefs). He learned the Hanbali jurisprudence from his father who was one of the Hanbali scholars. From the bloom of youth, he regarded as indecent many of the religious doings of the people of

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1- Farid Wajdi, Da’irat al-ma’arif al-qarn al-‘ishrin, vol. 10, p. 871, quoting from the magazine Al-Muqtataf, vol. 27, p. 893.

Najd. After going on a pilgrimage to the house of Allah and performing its rites, he headed for Medina where he rejected the resorting of the people to the Holy Prophet (s) near his shrine. He then returned to Najd, and from there he went to Basrah with the aim of later leaving Basrah for Damascus. He spent some time in Basrah and embarked on opposing many doings of the people.

The people of Basrah, however, cast him out of their city. While on his way from Basrah to the city of al-Zubayr, he was about to perish due to the intensity of the heat, thirst, and toll of walking in the desert. But a man from al-Zubayr, seeing the Shaykh clad like the clergy, endeavoured to save him. He gave the Shaykh a gulp of water, set him on a mount, and took him to the city of al-Zubayr. The Shaykh wanted to travel from al-Zubayr to Damascus, but as he did not have sufficient provisions and could not afford the expenses of the journey, he changed his destination and headed for the city of al-‘Ahsa. From there, he decided to go to Huraymala, one of the cities of Najd.

At this time which was the year 1139 AH, his father ’Abd al-Wahhab had been transferred from ‘Uyayna to Huraymala. Shaykh Muhammad accompanied his father and learned (the material in) some books from his father. He set out on rejecting the beliefs of the people of Najd. For this reason,

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altercation and debates ensued between him and his father. In like manner, serious and violent disputes erupted between him and the people of Najd. This matter lasted several years until his father Shaykh ‘Abd al-Wahhab passed away in the year 1153.(1)

After the demise of his father, Shaykh Muhammad embarked on expressing his own beliefs and rejecting part of the religious acts of the people. A group of the people of Huraymala followed him and his work won fame. He departed from Huraymala for the city of ‘Uyayna. At that time, ‘Uthman ibn Hamd was the head of ‘Uyayna. ‘Uthman received the Shaykh, honoured him and made the decision to assist him. In return, Shaykh Muhammad also expressed hope that all the people of Najd would obey ‘Uthman ibn Hamd. The news of Shaykh Muhammad's call and doings reached the ruler of al-‘Ahsa. He wrote a letter to ‘Uthman. The consequence of this letter was that ‘Uthman summoned the Shaykh and dismissed him. Shaykh Muhammad replied that if you help me, you will become the leader of the entire Najd. ‘Uthman, however, avoided him and cast him out of the city of ‘Uyayna.

In the year 1160, after being expelled from ‘Uyayna, Shaykh Muhammad headed for al-Dar’iyya, one of the renowned cities of Najd. At that time, Muhammad ibn Sa’ud (the ancestor of Aal Sa’ud) was the emir of al-Dar’iyya; He went to see the Shaykh and gave him tidings of glory and goodness. The Shaykh too gave him tidings of

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1- Summarised from the Ta’rikh Najd of al-‘Alusi, pp. 111-113.

power and domination over all the cities of Najd. And in this way, the relationship between Shaykh Muhammad and al-Sa’ud commenced.(1)

At the time when Shaykh Muhammad went to al-Dar’iyya and made an agreement with Muhammad ibn Sa’ud, the people of al-Dar’iyya lived in utmost destitution and need.

Relating from (‘Uthman) Ibn Bishr al-Najdi, al-Alusi notes that:

“I (Ibn Bishr) initially witnessed the poverty of the people of al-Dar’iyya. I had seen that city at the time of Sa’ud, when its people had enjoyed enormous wealth, their weapons were decorated with gold and silver and they mounted thoroughbred horses. They wore sumptuous clothes and were well provided with all the means of prosperity, so much so that it is beyond the scope of expression.

One day in a bazaar in al-Dar’iyya, I saw men on one side and women on the other. In the bazaar, there was a huge amount of gold, silver, and weapons and a large number of camels, sheep, horses, expensive clothes, and much meat, wheat, and other edibles, so much so that they could not be recounted. The bazaar extended as far as the eye could see. And I could hear the call of the sellers and buyers, a sound which hummed like the buzz of the bee. One (of them) would say, “I sold (my goods)”, and the other (one) would say, ‘I bought (something)’.”(2)

Of course, Ibn Bishr had not given an account as to how and from where such an enormous wealth had been amassed. But

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1- An Ottoman writer in his book Ta’rikh Baghdad, p. 152, has noted that the relationship between Shaykh Muhammad and Aal Sa’ud began in another manner. But what has been stated here seems to be more correct
2- al-‘Alusi, Ta’rikh Najd, pp. 117-118.

the trend of history indicates that it had been accumulated by attacking the Muslims of other tribes and cities (on the charge of not accepting his beliefs) and by plundering and taking as booty their properties. With regard to the war booties which Shaykh Muhammad took (from the Muslims of that region), his policy was to spend it in any way he desired. At times, he granted unto only two or three people all the war booties which amounted to a very large amount. No matter what the booties were, they were in the possession of the Shaykh, and the Emir of Najd could have a share of the booties on permission of the Shaykh.

One of the biggest flaws during the Shaykh's life was the fact that he treated Muslims who did not follow his notorious beliefs as infidels deserving to be fought against. He maintained no esteem for their life or property.

In short, Muhammad ibn ’Abd al-Wahhab called (the people) to tawhid (monotheism) but an erroneous tawhid which he created himself, not the real tawhid promulgated by the Qur’an. Whoever adhered to it would have immunity as far as his life and property were concerned, else (the dissolution of) his life and property would, like that of the infidels, be religiously lawful and permissible.

The wars which the Wahhabis waged in Najd and outside Najd such as in Yemen, Hijaz, the vicinity of Syria and Iraq were on this basis. Any city which they conquered by war

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and domination was religiously lawful for them. If they could, they would establish it as their own possession, otherwise they would be content with the booty they had taken.(1)

Those who adhered to his beliefs and hearkened to his call had to pledge allegiance to him. If anyone rose up in rebellion, he was killed and his property divided. On the basis of this policy, for instance, they killed three hundred men from a village called al-Fusul, located in the city of al-‘Ahsa and pillaged their property.(2)

Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab died in the year 1206.(3) After the demise of Shaykh Muhammad, his followers also pursued this policy and kept alive his innovation and misguidance. For instance, in the year 1216, the Wahhabi emir Sa’ud mobilized an army of twenty thousand warriors and made an inroad on the city of Karbala. At this time, Karbala enjoyed utmost fame and grandeur. Iranian, Turkish, Arab, and other pilgrims turned to it. After laying siege to the city, Sa’ud finally entered it and brutally massacred the defenders and inhabitants of the city.

The Wahhabi army created such a public disgrace in the city of Karbala that it cannot be put to words. They killed over five thousand people. After emir Sa’ud found leisure from the affairs of the war, he turned to the treasures in the shrine of Imam Husayn (‘a). These treasures consisted of various properties and precious objects. He took away and plundered whatever he found there. After this episode, Karbala was

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1- Jazirat al-‘Arab fi al-qarn al-‘ishrin, p. 341.
2- Ta’rikh al-mamlakat al-‘arabiyya al-Sa’udiyya, vol. 1, p. 51.
3- There are other views concerning the date of birth of Muhammad b. ‘Abd al-Wahhab and that of his death.

transformed into a situation that the poets composed elegies for it.(1)

For over twelve years, the Wahhabis, every now and then, invaded and looted the city of Karbala and its suburbs, as well as the city of Najaf .The first of these invasions took place in the year 1216 as already mentioned. According to the writings of all Shi’i writers, this invasion took place on Eid al-Ghadir (a festival celebrating the designation by Prophet Muhammad (s) of Imam Ali's (‘a) as his successor) the same year.

The late ’Allama Sayyid Muhammad Jawwad al-‘Amili says:

“This part of the book Miftah al-Kirama was completed by the writer after midnight of the ninth of the holy month of Ramadan 1225 AH while in anxiety and apprehension, for the ‘Unayza Arabs who are Wahhabi had laid siege on the Najaf al-‘Ashraf and on the place where Imam Husayn (‘a) had been martyred. They blocked the roads, plundered the pilgrims to the shrine of Imam Husayn (‘a) who were returning to their own lands after pilgrimage in the middle of Sha’ban, and massacred a large number of them (mostly from among Iranian pilgrims). It is said that the number of those killed (this time) probably amounted to one hundred and fifty, some say less...”(2)

The tawhid to which Shaykh Muhammad and his followers invited the people in which they made permissible the seizure of the life and property of whoever did not accept it, consisted of proving a location for Allah the Almighty and regarding Him as

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1- Dr. ‘Abd al-Jawwad al-Kalidar, Ta’rikh Karbala, pp. 172-174.
2- Sayyid Muhammad Jawwad al-‘Amili, Miftah al-kiramah, vol. 7, p. 653.

having limbs and organs, going by the apparent meaning of some of the Qur’anic verses and traditions.

In this regard, Alusi has noted that the Wahhabis, adhering to Ibn Taymiyya, confirm the traditions which express Allah's descent into the heavens. They say that Allah descends into the heavens from the empyrean and says:

“Is there a person who seeks forgiveness for his sins?”

In like manner, they also acknowledge that on the Judgment Day, Allah comes to the place where mankind is gathered because He Himself has said:

“And your Lord comes and (also) all the angles in ranks (Fajr 89:22).”

And Allah can draw near to any of His creations in any way He wants:

“…and We are nearer to him than his life vein (Qaf 50:16)”(1)

As indicated in his book entitled al-Radd ‘ala al-‘Akhna’i, Ibn Taymiyya regarded the traditions related to going on pilgrimage to the shrine of the Holy Prophet (s) as forged. He has pointed out that it is a grave mistake if a person thinks that the Holy Prophet's being is the same as that of his lifetime even after his demise.

Shaykh Muhammad and his followers have expressed similar statements in a more vehement manner.

The false beliefs and statements of the Wahhabis has prompted some people, who have studied Islam from their viewpoint, to say that Islam is a strict and rigid religion and that it is not suitable for all ages (of human history).

An American scholar, Lothrop Stoddard, says:

“The Wahhabis have gone

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1- al-‘Alusi, Ta’rikh Najd, pp. 90-91; Ibn Taymiyya, al-Risala al-`aqida al–hamawiyya al-kubra, risalah no. 11 from his Majmu’ al-rasa’il al-kubra, pp. 429-432.

to extremes as far as prejudice is concerned. In the meantime, a group of fault-finders have risen and, voicing out the Wahhabi course of action, have said that the essence and nature of Islam does not fit in with the demands of different times. Therefore it does not have conformity with progress and evolution of the society and does not follow changes brought about by time.”(1)

From the time that Shaykh Muhammad ibn ’Abd al-Wahhab expressed his views and called on the people to accept them, a large group of eminent scholars voiced opposition to his beliefs. The first person to oppose him severely was his father ‘Abd al-Wahhab and then his brother Sulayman ibn ’Abd al-Wahhab, both of whom are deemed as Hanbali scholars.

Shaykh Sulayman compiled a book entitled al-Sawa’iq al-ilahiyya fi al-radd ‘ala al-Wahhabiyya in which he refuted the views of his brother.

[Ahmad] Zayni Dihlan says:

“The father of Shaykh Muhammad was a righteous man of learning. His brother Shaykh Sulayman was also regarded as a scholar. Shaykh ’Abd al-Wahhab and Shaykh Sulayman both reproached Shaykh Muhammad and warned the people against him from the very beginning. That is to say, from the time when Shaykh Muhammad was studying in Medina. It was through Shaykh Muhammad's words and deeds that they had realized he cherished such a claim.”(2)

The Egyptian scholar ‘Abbas Mahmud al-‘Aqqad said:

“The greatest opponent of Shaykh Muhammad was his brother Shaykh Sulayman, the writer of al-Sawa’iq al-ilahiyya, who did not acknowledge for his brother

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1- Lothrop Stoddard, The New World of Islam, (London, 1922), vol. 1, p. 264
2- Ahmad Zayni Dihlan, al-Futuhat al-Islamiyya, vol. 2, p. 357

a position of ijtihad and correct understanding of the Qur’an and sunnah.”

Al-‘Aqqad has also noted that Shaykh Sulayman said the following while severely refuting his brother's statements:

“Matters in which the Wahhabis have regarded as polytheism and unbelief, and used as pretexts to make permissible the taking of life and property of the Muslims existed at the time of the A’imma (leaders) of Islam. But no one has heard or narrated from the Imams of Islam that those who commit these acts are infidels or apostates. Neither have the Imams issued order of Holy war (jihad) against them. Nor have they called the cities of Muslims as the cities of polytheism and unbelief, as you have.”(1)

In conclusion, it must be noted that Shaykh Muhammad ibn ’Abd al-Wahhab was not the originator and innovator of the beliefs of the Wahhabis. But centuries before him, his ideas had been expressed in different forms by people such as Ibn Taymiyya al-Harrani and his disciple Ibn al-Qayyim. However it had not been turned into a new creed and had not found many followers.

Refutations of the True Leader of The Wahhabis

Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad ibn ‘Abd al-Halim, known as Ibn Taymiyya, was a Hanbali scholar who died in 728 A.H. As he expressed views and beliefs contrary to the views held by all Islamic sects, he was constantly opposed by other scholars. Investigators are of the view that the beliefs of Ibn Taymiyya later formed the principles of beliefs of the Wahhabis.

When lbn Taymiyya made his views public and wrote

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1- Al-‘Islam fi al-qarn al-‘ishrin, (Egypt), pp. 72-73.

books in this regard, the scholars of Islam, headed by the Sunni scholars’, did two things to preclude the prevalence of corruption:

A) They criticized his views and beliefs. In this regard, we will refer to some books which have been written as a criticism to his beliefs:

1) Shifa’ al-saqam fi ziyarat qabr khayr al-anam,: by Taqi al-Din al-Subki.

2) Al-Durrat al-mudi’a fi al-radd ‘ala Ibn Taymiyya, by Taqi al-Din al-Subki.

3) Al-Maqalat al-mardiyya, compiled by the supreme judge (qadi al-qudat) of the Maliki’s by the name of Taqi al-Din Abi ‘Abdillah al-‘Akhna’i.

4) Najm al-muhtadi wa rajm al-muqtadi, by Fakhr bin Muhammad al-Qurashi.

5) Daf’ al-shubha, by Taqi al-Din al-Hisni.

6) Al-Tuhfat al-mukhtara fi al-radd ‘ala munkir al-ziyara, by Taj al-Din.

These are some of the refutations written on the beliefs of Ibn Taymiyya. In this way, the baselessness of his views has become evident.

B) The Sunni scholars and fuqaha of his time have accused him of immorality and have even at times excommunicated him and have revealed his heresy.

When his views about going on pilgrimage to the shrine of the Holy Prophet (s) were expressed in written form for the Supreme Judge of Egypt, al-Badr ibn Jama’a, he wrote the following at the bottom of the page:

“Going on pilgrimage to the (shrine of the) Holy Prophet (s) is a virtue, the Sunnah and all scholars unanimously accept it. He who regards going on pilgrimage to the shrine of the Holy Prophet (s) as being

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religiously unlawful, must be rebuked by the scholars and must be barred from making such statements. If these measures are not effective, he must be imprisoned and exposed to the people, so that the latter would not follow him.”

Not only did the supreme Judge of the Shafi’i school of thought express such a view about him, but also the Supreme Judges of the Maliki and Hanbali schools of thought in Egypt also confirmed his views in one way or the other. You can refer to Daf’ a-Shubha written by Taqi al-Din al-Hisni for more details.

Apart from this, his contemporary al-Dhahabi, who was a great writer of the eighth century A.H. and who has written valuable works on history and biography, has, in a letter to him, called him an equal match to al-Hajjaj al-Thaqafi as far as spreading corruption and deviation are concerned. (This letter has been disseminated by the writer of Takmila al-sayf al-saqil on page 190 of his book, as recorded by the late ’Allama al-‘Amini in the fifth volume of Al-Ghadir on pages 87-89. Those interested may refer to these books.)

When Ibn Taymiyya died in 728 AH in a prison in Damascus, his movement underwent a decline. Though his renowned student Ibn al-Qayyim embarked on propagating the views of his master but did not succeed. No trace of such beliefs and ideas was left in later periods.

But when the son of ’Abd al-Wahhab came under the influence of the beliefs of Ibn Taymiyya, and when al-Sa’ud

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supported him to strengthen the foundations of their own rule over Najd, once again the hereditary beliefs of Ibn Taymiyya spread in the minds of some of the people of Najd like cancer in the body. In the wake of rigid bias, and unfortunately in the name of tawhid (monotheism), a blood bath was evoked under the title of jihad against the unbelievers and polytheists. Tens of thousands of men, women, and children were victimized by it.

Once again, a new sect sprang up in the Muslim community and regret arose from that day the haramayn sharifayn (the two holy sanctuaries of Mecca and Medina) were put under the possession of this group as a result of compromise with Britain and the other superpowers of that time. Also due to the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and division of the Arab countries among the superpowers, the Wahhabis of Najd gained control over Mecca and Medina, as well as other vestiges of Islam. They exerted utmost effort in annihilating the graves of the awliya Allah and in transgressing in disrespect against the progeny of the Prophet (s) by destroying their shrines and other historical remains attributed to them.

In this regard, the Shi’a scholars, alongside the Sunni scholars as we have mentioned above, made tremendous efforts to criticize the views of ’Abd al-Wahhab. Both groups commenced logical and scholarly jihad in the best possible manner.

The first refutation which the Sunni scholars wrote on the views of Muhammad ibn ’Abd al-Wahhab

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was the book entitled Al-Sawa’iq al-Ilahiyyah fi al-radd ‘ala al-Wahhabiyya written by Shaykh Sulayman ibn ’Abd al-Wahhab, the brother of Muhammad ibn ’Abd al-Wahhab.

The first book written by the Shi’a scholars to refute the views of Muhammad ibn ’Abd al-Wahhab was Manhaj al-Rashad, penned by the honourable late Shaykh Ja’far Kashif al-Ghita (died 1228 AH). He wrote this book as a reply to a treatise which one of the Emirs from among House of Sa’ud by the name of ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Sa’ud had sent to him. In that treatise, ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Sa’ud had gathered all views of Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab and tried to prove them from the Qur’an and Sunnah. This book was published in 1343 A.H in Najaf. After the work of this dignitary, numerous refutations and criticisms were written against the movement Wahhabism in the region. Most of these books have been published.

But now, the Wahhabi movements have increased as a result of the massive wealth that the Sa’udis has amassed by way of selling oil. Every day and month, the modern Abu Jahls and Abu Lahabs who have taken control of Ka’ba, attack the Islamic sanctities in one way or the other. Each day, the vestiges of Islam are ruined. That which has given impetus to their movement is the secret signs and go-aheads given by their Western masters who are appalled by the unity of the Muslims.

They fear this unity more than they fear international communism. Therefore they have no

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choice, but to expedite the creation of religions and faiths, so as to spoil a part of the money they pay to the Wahhabi government for oil and ultimately to severely harm the unity of the Muslims and engage them in branding one another as immoral and in excommunicating one another.

In this book, we will try to reveal their beliefs and remove the obscurities regarding Wahhabism. We will remove the dark veils of doubts and hope to clarify the facts that the beliefs of all Muslims of the world, originate from the Qur’an and the blessed Sunnah and that the movements of Wahhabism and its deeds are against the teachings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (s).

Wahhabis and The Renovation of Graves of Awliya Allah


Amongst the matters about which the Wahhabis are most sensitive is the matter of renovation of graves and construction over the graves of Prophets, Imams and the pious ones.

This matter was at first initiated by Ibn Taymiyya and his famous student Ibn al-Qayyim and they gave their verdicts (fatawa) in prohibiting the construction of a structure and the necessity of its destruction.

Ibn al-Qayyim in his book Zad al-ma’ad fi huda khayr al-‘ibad(1) says as such:

یجِب هدم المشاهد التی بُنِیَت علی القبور، ولا یجوز إبقاءها بعد القدره علی هدمها وإبطالها یوماً واحِد

It is obligatory to destroy the structure constructed over the grave and after gaining power for their destruction it is not permissible to reinstate them even for one day.

In the year 1344

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1- Ibn al-Qayyim, Zad al-ma’ad fi huda khayr al-‘ibad, page 661.

AH when the Sa’uds had gained control over Mecca, Medina and its surroundings, they planned a pretext for destroying the graves of Baqi’ and the traces of household and companions of the Holy Prophet (s). By getting verdict (fatwa) from the scholars of Medina they wanted to pave the way for demolition and preparing the minds of the people of Hijaz who were never in favour of such action.

For this reason they sent the Chief Judge of Najd, Sulayman bin Bulayhid towards Medina for the purpose of deriving benefit from the scholars of that place regarding this matter. Thus he planned the questions in such a manner that its answers (as per the viewpoint of the Wahhabis) were hidden in the questions itself. And in this way he declared to the muftis that their replies should match the answers which had come in the questions; otherwise they would be called as polytheists and be killed if they would not repent.

The questions and answers were published in the newspaper Umm al-Qura in Mecca in the month of Shawwal 1344 AH.(1) As a result of this publication, a severe reaction took place among the Muslims mainly Sunnis and Shi’as because they were aware that after taking the verdict (fatwa) even if it was by way of force, the destruction of graves of the leaders of Islam would commence.

Incidentally, after taking the verdict from fifteen scholars of Medina and publishing it in Hijaz, the destruction of the traces of the

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1- The late Agha Buzurg al-Tihrani in his book al-Dhari’a ila tasanif al-shi’a, vol. 8 p. 261, writes as such: “The Wahhabis gained control over Hijaz on 15th Rabi’ al-‘awwal 1343 AH and on 8th of Shawwal 1343 AH they destroyed the graves of the Imams (‘a) and companions in Baqi’.” On the other hand, the newspaper Umm al-Qura published the form of questions and answers in publication No.17 Shawwal from the year 1344 AH and fixed the date of reply of the scholars of Medina as 25th Ramadan. It should be said that dominance and destruction of the graves both occurred in the year 1344 AH and Sayyid Muhsin Amin thinks the year 1344 AH to be the date of complete dominance and destruction. Please refer to the book Kashf al-‘irtiyab pages 56 to 60.

household of the Prophet (s) began on the 8th of Shawwal of the same year. The entire traces of Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) and the companions of the Holy Prophet (s) disappeared and the valuable properties of the shrine of the Holy Imams (‘a) at Baqi’ were plundered and the graveyard of Baqi’ was turned into a heap of dung which would fill one with horror while looking at it.

Now we will mention some of the questions so that it becomes clear as to how the answers had been placed in the question itself. That is to say, the aim was not to ask any questions but gain a pretext for destroying the traces of Messengership. If the aim was truly conception and realism it was meaningless for the inquirer to place the answers in the questions itself.

Instead we can deduce from it that the questions and answers were written on a piece of paper which they took to the scholars (ulama) of Medina only for getting their signature since it is un-imaginable that the famous scholars of Medina who for years were propagators and protectors of the traces of the Holy Prophet (s) and the visitors to his grave would, all of a sudden, accept the views of others and give their verdict for the prohibition of construction and the necessity of its destruction.

Sulayman bin Bulayhid says in his questions:

ما ول عُلماء المدینه المُنوَّره زادهم الله فَهماً وعِلماً فی البِناء علی القبور واتخاذها مساجِد هل هُو جائز أولا

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کان غیر جائز بل ممنوع مَنهِیُ عنه نهیاً شدیداً فهل یجب هدمها ومنع الصلاه عندها أم لا؟ وإذا کان البِناء فی

مسبله کالبقیع وهو مانع مِن الإنتفاع بالمقدار المبنی علیه فهل هو غصبُ یجب رفعه لِما فیه من ظلم المستحقین

ومنعهم استحقافهم أم لا؟

What are the views of the scholars of Medina who, may God increase their knowledge and insight, about construction over the graves and setting them as mosques? Is it permissible or not? And if it is not permissible, and is strictly prohibited in Islam, then is it necessary and compulsory to destroy them and prevent the people from reciting prayers near it or not?

If in one endowed (waqf) land like Baqi’ construction over the grave becomes an obstacle from making use of those sections which are over that, then is this act not usurpation of a portion of the waqf?

The scholars of Medina under threat and compulsion gave replies to the questions of Shaykh as follows:

أما البِناء علی القبور فهو ممنوع إجماعاً لصحه الأحادیث الوارده فی منعه ولِهذا افتی کثیر من العلماء بوُجوب

هَدمه مستندین بحدیث علیُّ رضی الله عنه أنه قال: لأبی الهیاد ألا ابعثُک علی ما بعثتنی علیه رسول الله (صلی الله

علیه وأله) أن لا تدع تمثالاً إلا طمسته ولا قبراً إلا سوَّیته

Construction over the graves is forbidden. Based on some traditions proving its prohibition, a group have given verdict (fatwa) for the destruction of the same. In this matter they have made use of the tradition which Abu al-Hayyaj has narrated from ‘Ali (r).

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The latter told him - I am entrusting you with a work which the Messenger of God (s) had entrusted me with the same. Don't see any picture but that you erase it and don't see any grave but that you level it.

Shaykh Najdi in an article, which was published in the newspaper Umm al-Qura No. Jamadi al-thani 1345 AH, says:

Construction of dome and structure was in vogue from 5th century AH.

These are a few examples of the sayings of Wahhabis about renovation of graves and mostly they put forth two reasons in support of their sayings:

1. Consensus of the scholars of Islam about its being prohibited.

2. Tradition of Abu al-Hayyaj from Ali (‘a) and some other similar ones.

It should be known that our discussion at present is about renovation of graves and construction of bower or ceiling over them. However the matter of ziyara - visitation to graves - will be discussed separately.

For making the matter clear, we will discuss this issue from three perspectives:

1. What is the view of the Qur’an regarding this matter? Can we derive the judgement from the Qur’an?

2. Does the Islamic ummah in reality have consensus in its being prohibited or is it that in all the Islamic ages the matter was something else and renovation of graves and construction of house was in vogue during the period of the Holy Prophet (s) himself and his companions?

3. What is the derivation of the tradition of Abu al-Hayyaj, Jabir,

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Umm Salama and Na’im which the Wahhabis utilise?

A. Qur’anic View-Point Regarding Renovation Of Graves


The Qur’an has not directly passed a judgement about this matter but it is possible to derive its ruling from some of the relevant verses. The details follow.

1- Renovating and protecting the graves of the Prophets is nothing but paying respect to the Divine Rites.

The Holy Qur’an reckons the respect of Divine rites to be a sign of piety and purity of heart. It says:

ذَٰلِکَ وَمَنْ یُعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِنْ تَقْوَی الْقُلُوبِ

“And whoever respects the signs of Allah, this surely is (the outcome) of the piety of hearts. (Hajj 22:32).”

What is meant by respect of Divine rites? شعائر is the plural of شعیره and gives the meaning of sign and symbol. This verse does not show the sign of existence of God since the whole Universe is the sign of His existence. And nobody has said that respecting whatever things that exist in this Universe is the sign of piety. Instead, it shows the signs of His religion and thus the exegetes interpret this verse as “the Signs of religion of Allah”.(1)

If in the Qur’an, Safa and Marwa(2) and the camel which is to be sacrificed in Mina(3) are reckoned to be the rites of God it is for the reason that these are the signs of straight religion (Din-e-Hanif) and beliefs of Ibrahim. If Muzdalifa is considered to be al-mash’ar, it is because it is the sign of religion of God and stopping at this sign (during Hajj) is practically acting on the religion and obedience to God.

If the entire Hajj rites are named as al-sha’air

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1- al-Tabarsi, Majma’ al-bayan, (Sayda edition), vol. 4 p. 83.
2- Baqarah: 158
3- Hajj: 36

it is because these actions are the signs of divine and true religion.

In short, whatever are the signs and symbols of divine religion, respecting them is the source of nearness towards God. Indisputably, the Prophets and Awliya Allah who was the channel for propagating religion among the people are the greatest and the most evident signs of the divine religion. No just person can deny this fact that the existence of the Holy Prophet (s) and Imams (‘a) are from the proofs of Islam and are the signs of this holy religion and one of the ways of respecting them is protecting their graves and their remains and safeguarding them from any kind of destruction.

Anyhow, the matter of respect for the graves of awliya Allah (friends of God) becomes clear when we consider two things:

(a) The Prophets and awliya Allah, in particular those who have sacrificed their lives in the path of religion are from the divine sha’air (rites) and signs of religion.

(b) One of the ways of respecting this group after their demise is to safeguard and renovate their graves as well as protecting their school of thought. For this reason throughout the world, great religious and political leaders whose graves are a symbol of their school of thought are buried in such selected places which remain permanently safe. Safeguarding their grave from destruction is the sign of protection of their existence and eventually the sign of protection of their school of thought.

For understanding

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this fact it is necessary to examine and analyse accurately verse number 36 of Sura Hajj. Some of the pilgrims to the House of God take a camel along with themselves right from their houses to be sacrificed near the House of God. They earmark on this camel for sacrifice in the way of God and distinguish it from the other camels by putting a collar round its neck.

As this camel is somehow related to God then according to the same verse it is considered to be the sha’air (rites) of God and according to the contents of verse 32 of Sura Hajj (Surah 22) وَمَنْ یُعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ should be respected. For example, no one should ride on that camel and water and grass should be given to her at the appropriate time till the time she is slaughtered.

When one camel which is earmarked for being sacrificed near the House of God is considered to be a part of sha’air (rites) and its honour and respect is found to be necessary, then why the Prophets, Imams, Scholars, Martyrs and those who right from the beginning of their life have put the collar of obedience and submission to God around their neck and have become a channel between God and His creatures are not to be considered a part of sha’air (rites) of God and their respect and honour not necessary?

If really Ka’ba, Safa, Marwa, Mina and Arafat, which are all inanimate objects and no more than

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stone and mud, are part of the sha’air (rites) because of being related to the divine religion and each one requires obligatory honour and respect, then why the Divine Leaders, who are the preachers and protectors of the divine religion, and those things which are related to them not part of the sha’air (rites)!?(1)

We put the conscience of Wahhabis to justice in this matter. Do they doubt the Prophets and Messengers to be amongst the sha’air (rites) of Allah and do not they consider the protection of their traces and things related to them as honourable!? Does respect and honour mean renovating their graves and keeping them clean or rather destroying and turning them into a heap of ruins?

2- The Holy Qur’an very clearly instructs us to love the near ones of the Holy Prophet.

The Qur’an says:

قُلْ لَا أَسْأَلُکُمْ عَلَیْهِ أَجْرًا إِلَّا الْمَوَدَّهَ فِی الْقُرْبَیٰ

“Say; I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives. (Shura 26:23)”

From the view point of the general people who are referred to by this verse, is not the matter of the grave and its renovation as one of the ways of expressing love towards the household of the Holy Prophet (s)? We see that this custom was and is still prevailing amongst all the nations and they think this to be one way of expressing their love to the people in grave. Thus great political and religious personalities have been buried in the church or in famous shrines surrounded by flowers and trees.

3. Renovation of grave and the past generation

From the Qur’anic verses we come to know that respect

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1- Protection of graves is expression of love and affection.

towards the grave of a believer was one kind of practise which was in vogue amongst the nations prior to Islam.

About the companions of Kahf (the Cave), Qur’an narrates that when their condition became known to the people of that time and they came near the entrance of the cave, they expressed two views about their graves

ابْنُوا عَلَیْهِمْ بُنْیَانًا

“…..Erect an edifice over them…., (Kahf 18:21)”

قَالَ الَّذِینَ غَلَبُوا عَلَیٰ أَمْرِهِمْ لَنَتَّخِذَنَّ عَلَیْهِمْ مَسْجِدًا

“….Those who prevailed in their affair said: We will certainly raise a mosque over them….. (Kahf 18:21)”

The Qur’an narrates these two views without any criticism. Of course it can be said that if either of these two views were wrong then surely Qur’an would have criticised them or would have narrated their action with condemnation. Anyhow these two views show that one of the ways of respect of the awliya Allah and virtuous people has been the protection of their shrines.

By paying attention to these three verses we can never declare the matter of renovation of graves of the awliya Allah, Prophets and the virtuous ones as prohibited and or an abominable affair. Instead we can interpret it to be one kind of respect to the sha’air (rites) of God and manifestation of mawadda fi al-qurba (love towards kinsfolk).

4. Elevation of Special Houses

The Qur’an sets forth one novel parable wherein the Light (nur) of Allah is compared to a lamp which is having a light within it, and this elegant and profound parable begins

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with the sentence الله نور السموات والأرض and ends with the sentence. والله بکل شئٍ علیم

After setting forth this parable which itself is having a lengthy discussion, Qur’an says:

فِی بُیُوتٍ أَذِنَ اللَّهُ أَنْ تُرْفَعَ وَیُذْکَرَ فِیهَا اسْمُهُ یُسَبِّحُ لَهُ فِیهَا بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ

رِجَالٌ لَا تُلْهِیهِمْ تِجَارَهٌ وَلَا بَیْعٌ عَنْ ذِکْرِ اللَّهِ

“In houses which Allah has permitted to be exalted and that His name may be remembered in them; there, glorify Him therein in the mornings and the evenings, Men whom neither trade nor selling diverts from the remembrance of Allah. (Nur 24:36 37)”

Argumentation of this verse requires, before anything else, two points to be clarified:

(a) What is meant by بیوت (houses)?

(b) What is meant by یرفع which has come in the meaning of raising and elevation?

Regarding the first word, we have to remind you that its objective is not limited to mosques. Instead it refers to mosques and houses such as the houses of Prophets and awliya Allah which possesses the aforesaid specialities mentioned in the verse and there is no reason to confine the meaning of the word to mosque.

The whole of this بیوت most common being the mosques and houses of the Prophets and the pious ones who have never been forgetful of the Hereafter, is the centre of Light (nur) of Allah and the flames of tawhid, purification and glorification. Instead it can be said that بیوت here excludes the mosques because a house consists of four walls and surely a ceiling

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and if Ka’ba is called as بیت الله (house of Allah) it is because it possesses a ceiling.

But we see that it is recommended (mustahab) that a mosque should be devoid of a ceiling and at present even Masjid al-Haram is without a ceiling. The verses of the Qur’an too show that by house is meant a place possessing a ceiling. It says:

وَلَوْلَا أَنْ یَکُونَ النَّاسُ أُمَّهً وَاحِدَهً لَجَعَلْنَا لِمَنْ یَکْفُرُ بِالرَّحْمَٰنِ لِبُیُوتِهِمْ سُقُفًا مِنْ فِضَّهٍ

“And were it not that all people had been a single nation, We would certainly have assigned to those who disbelieve in the Beneficent God (to make) of silver the roofs of their houses. (Zukhruf 43:33)”

Anyhow بیوت either refers to a place other than mosque or it consists of both mosque and house.

Now it is time to explain the meaning of the second word i.e. یرفع

The word یرفع in the Arabic language means 'to raise' or 'to elevate' and the verse explicitly says that God has permitted these houses to be elevated. This elevation either refers to physical elevation i.e. raising the base and the walls and protecting them from tumbling down as Qur’an has used the same meaning in the following verse,

وَإِذْ یَرْفَعُ إِبْرَاهِیمُ الْقَوَاعِدَ مِنَ الْبَیْتِ وَإِسْمَاعِیلُ

“And when Ibrahim and Ismail raised the foundations of the House (Baqarah 2:127)”

or it refers to spiritual elevation i.e. God has given a special privilege to such houses and has raised their rank and position.

If we take the meaning of physical

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elevation, then it clearly shows that the houses of the Prophets and awliya Allah who are the true proofs of these houses, are worthy of renovation - whether during their lifetime or after their demise, whether they are buried there itself (like the house of the Holy Prophet (s), Imam al-Hadi and Imam al-‘Askari where their houses are their graves because they were buried in their own houses) or in some other place. Under any condition such houses are to be renovated and protected from ruin and destruction.

And if we take the meaning of spiritual elevation, then we conclude that God has permitted such houses to be honoured and respected and one of the ways of manifesting our respect to such houses is safeguarding them from destruction and renovating them and keeping them clean.

All these physical and spiritual elevation is because these houses belong to the divine men who were God's obedient servants and were submissive to His commands.

Despite these and such other verses it is a matter of shock as to how the Wahhabis have destroyed the traces of Messengership and ruined their houses and have turned into a heap of rubble, these lustrous places where men and women used to glorify and praise God, day and night, and gather in these places and recite supplications because of the spiritual connection the owners of these houses had with God! This shows as to how they have openly and apparently disclosed their old enmity with the Holy

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Prophet (s) and his household (‘a) and his sincere companions!

In this connection we draw the attention of our readers to one tradition.

Anas bin Malik says: The Holy Prophet (s) recited this verse. At that time a person stood up and said:

“ بیتrefers to which house?”

The Holy Prophet (s) said – “The house of the Prophets.”

Abu Bakr stood and said –“Is this house (referring to the house of ‘Ali and Fatima) included amongst them?”

The Holy Prophet (s) replied(1)

نعم مِن أفضلها

“Yes, it is the most important of all of them.”

B. The Islamic Ummah And Renovation Of Graves


The day when Islam spread out in the Arabian peninsula and its light gradually spread to the vital parts of the Middle East, the graves of the Prophets whose place of burial were known to the people were not only having ceiling and bower at that time but also a dome and place of gathering. Now too a part of their graves stand intact in the same form.

In Mecca itself, the graves of Isma’il (‘a) and his mother Hagar lie on a rock. The grave of Danial (‘a) is at Shush and of Hud (‘a), Salih (‘a), Yunus (‘a) and Dhu’l Kifl (‘a) at Iraq. The graves of the Prophets like Ibrahim (‘a) and his sons Ishaq (‘a), Ya’qub (‘a) and Yusuf (‘a) who were brought from Egypt to Bayt al-Maqdas by Musa (‘a) are in the occupied Quds and all of them possess structure, signs and symbols.

The grave of Hawwa is in Jeddah where the

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1- al-Suyuti, al-Durr al-Manthur, vol. 5 p. 50.

traces of it were destroyed after the conquest of tribe of Sa’uds and the reason this land is called as Jeddah is because of her grave in that place although this relationship may not be correct.

When the Muslims gained control over this place they never got disturbed and never issued any orders for its demolition.

If truly the renovation of graves and burial of the dead in a covered shrine is forbidden in Islam, then the first and foremost task of the Muslims of that time was to destroy all the graves existing in Jordan and Iraq and secondly prevent the restoration of any structure at all times. Not only have they not destroyed these shrines but also during the entire 14 centuries they have strived in protecting and renovating any traces left from the previous Prophets.

By their God-gifted wisdom they took the protection of the remains of the Prophets to be one way of expressing their respect towards them and by this action reckoned themselves to be pious and virtuous.

Ibn Taymiyya in his book al-Sirat al-mustaqim says:

“At the time of victory of al-Quds the graves of Prophets consisted of a constructed structure but its doors were closed till the fourth century hijri” (1)

If truly construction over the graves was a prohibited affair, then its demolition was naturally necessary and its continuity not justified. In short, the existence of these structures doing this period and before the very sight of Islamic scholars is itself an evident

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1- Sayyid Muhsin Amin, Kashf al-‘irtiyab, p. 384.

sign of its being permissible in the religion of Islam.

Islamic Remnants are the Sign of Originality of Religion

Islamic Remnants are the Sign of Originality of Religion (1)

Fundamentally, protecting the remnants of Prophethood especially the traces of Holy Prophet (s) such as his shrine, the graves of his wives, children and companions, the houses in which he lived and the mosques wherein he recited prayers, all have great significance which we shall now discuss.

Today, after the lapse of twenty centuries following the birth of (‘Isa) Jesus Christ (‘a) and his mother (Maryam) Mary (‘a), his book Bible and his companions and disciples, all have been looked upon as a fairy tale in the West. A group of Orientalists have doubted the existence of this heavenly man by the name of Christ whose mother was Mary and his book Bible and described them as a fairy tale like the fairy tale of Layla and Majnun. Why!?

Because not even one genuine trace of Jesus Christ is at hand. For example, his true place of birth, his house where he lived in and the place of his burial according to Christian belief are not known. His heavenly book fell victim to distortion and these four gospels where in the last chapter of each of them there is the description of death and burial of Jesus Christ is certainly not related to him and it clearly shows that they have been compiled after his demise. Thus most of the researchers recognise them to be the literary works of the second

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1- Refer to the Tabaqat al-sahaba in Ibn Sa’d, al-Tabaqat al-kubra, vol.1 pp. 360 to 503. In these pages we find the specialities and characteristics of the life of the Prophet (s)

century A.D. However, if all the specifications related to him had been protected, then there would have been a clear proof and confirmation to his originality and there would have been no excuse for these fictional and sceptical persons.

Muslims openly announce to the world that: “O people! 1400 years ago a man was appointed in the land of Hijaz for the guidance of the human society and he was fully successful in his mission. All the specifications of his life have been protected as seen in his life without the slightest ambiguity and even the house where he was born is known to us. The mount of Hira is a place where revelation (wahy) used to descend upon him and it is in this mosque where he used to pray and this is the house where he was buried in and these are the houses of his wives, children and relatives and these are the graves of his children, wives, Caliphs, and….

Now, if we remove all these traces or signs, then obviously we have erased all the traces of his existence and the signs of his originality and prepared the ground for the enemies of Islam. Therefore destroying the traces of Messengership and household of the Prophet is not only one kind of disrespect but also a war against the original manifestations of Islam and authenticity of Messengership of the Prophet (s).

The constitution of religion of Islam is a permanent and everlasting programme and till the day of

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Judgement it will remain as the religion of mankind. The generations that will follow after thousands of years have to believe in its authenticity. Therefore, for ensuring this objective, we have to always protect all the traces and signs of the Holy Prophet (s) and in this way take a step in safeguarding the religion for the coming years. We should not do anything that will make the fate of Prophethood of the Holy Prophet (s) meet the same end as that of Prophet (‘Isa) Jesus (‘a).

The Muslims have strived for the protection of the traces of the Holy Prophet (s) to such extent that they have accurately recorded all the specifications of his life during Prophethood, such as the details of his ring, shoes, brush and the signs of his sword, spear, shield, horse, camel and slave. Even the wells from where he used to draw water and drink and the territory which he has bequeathed and still more the style of his walking and eating and the kinds of food which he liked and the appearance of his beard and his way of applying dye, etc, have been recorded and to a certain extent these signs have still remained till today.

By referring to the history of Muslims and touring the expansive Islamic countries, it becomes clear that renovation of graves and their protection and preservation was one of the customs of the Muslims. At present, throughout the Islamic countries, the graves of Divine Prophets, awliya Allah and

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the pious people exist in the form of shrines and for their protection endowments are available where their revenues are used for their preservation, etc.

Before the birth of faction of Wahhabism at Najd and before their domination over the two holy shrines and the outskirts of Hijaz, the graves of awliya Allah had been erected, thriving and worthy of attention of everyone. None of the Islamic scholars had any objection towards them.

It is not only in Iran where the graves of awliya and virtuous people have been sanctified in the form of shrines but throughout the Islamic countries, especially Egypt, Syria, Iraq, the western countries and Tunisia the shrines of scholars and great personalities of Islam are flourishing and Muslims depart in groups towards these shrines to visit their graves and recite Fatiha and Holy Quran for the souls of these great personalities. All these holy places are having servants and protectors responsible for maintenance and keeping them clean.

With such propagation and dissemination throughout the Islamic countries, is it possible to regard the renovation of graves as a forbidden act when this long-drawn custom was existing and still exists from the beginning of Islam till today and this custom is known in the language of the scholars as 'the ways or conduct of Muslims'? The existence of such behaviour without any objection from any corner shows that it is permissible, desirable and popular.

This matter is so fundamental that one of the Wahhabi writers too confesses to it as

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هذا امر عمَّ البلاد وطبَّق الأرض شرقاً وغرباً بحیث لا بلده مِن بلاد الإسلام إلا فیها قبور ومشاهد بل مساجد

المُسلمین غالباً لا تخلو عن قبرٍ ومشهد ولا یَسع عقل عاقل أن هذا مُنکر یبلُغ الی ما ذکرت من شناعه ویسکُت

عُلماء الإسلام.

“This matter has reached the common places, East and the West to such an extent that there is no Islamic country where there is no holy grave or shrine. Even the mosques of the Muslims are not devoid of it and reason does not accept that such an affair remains forbidden and the scholars of Islam have kept silent towards this matter.”(1)

However, in spite of such confession they have not left their obstinacy and say that the prevalence of such matter and the silence of scholars are no reason for it to be permissible. And if a group remains silent due to some reason or the other, another group under different situation will reveal the fact.

But the answer to such talks is obvious since for seven centuries, the scholars of Islam had remained silent and did not utter a word regarding this matter. Were all of them conservative during this period!? Why at the time of the victory over Baitul-Muqqadas the second Caliph did not destroy the traces of graves of the Prophets? Did he too compromise with the polytheists of his time!?

Surprising is the reply of scholars of Medina who say;

اما البناء علی القُبور فهو ممنُوع غجماعاً لصحه الأحادیث الوارده فی منعِها ولهذا افتی کثیر مِن

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1- Tathir al-‘i’tiqad, (Egyptian edition), p. 17, narrating from Kashf al-‘irtiyab.

العُلماء بوُجوب


“Construction over the graves is forbidden according to the consensus of scholars because of the correct traditions which have come in this regard. Thus a great many of scholars have given their verdict (fatwa) for their destruction.”

How can the claim of consensus be made over prohibition of construction over graves when we see that the Muslims buried the Holy Prophet (s) in the house where his wife - Ayesha - was living. Later Abu Bakr and ‘Umar were buried near the Holy Prophet (s) in the same chamber. Thereafter, the chamber of Ayesha was divided from the middle and a wall was put up there. A portion of it was earmarked for Ayesha and the other portion was related to the grave of the Holy Prophet (s) and the two Caliphs. During the time of Abdulla bin Zubayr, the wall was raised to a higher level due to its low height.

From then on, in every period, the house in which the Holy Prophet (s) was buried was either renovated or reconstructed based on the special architecture of that time. Even during the period of the caliphate of the Umayyads and Abbasids the matter of construction of grave was in vogue and graves were constructed in every period with the special architecture of that time.

And the last of the construction over the grave which still exists was the construction of Sultan Abdul Hamid which started in the year 1270 and lasted for four years. You can read

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the detailed history of renovation and reconstruction of the house of the Holy Prophet (s) throughout the Islamic history till the time of Samhudi in the book Wafa -ul- Wafa of Samhudi(1) and some other related books about the history of Medina.

C. Hadith of Abu Al-Hayyaj


Now it is the time to closely examine the hadith which the Wahhabi scholars narrate. Here we produce a tradition from Sahih Muslim:

حدثنا یَحیی بن یحیی وأبو بکر بن أبی شیبه وزُهیر بن حربٍ قال: یحیی اخبرنا وال الأخران ، حدَّثنا: وکیعُ عن

سفیان عن حبیب بن أتی ثابت عن أبی وائل عن أبی الهیاج الأسجی قال لی علیٌ بن أبی طالب ألا ابعثک علی ما

بعثنی علیه رسول الله (صلی الله علیه وأله) أن لا تدع تمثالاُ إلا طمسه ولا قبراً مُشرفاً إلا سوَّیته.

Narrated to us Yahya bin Yahya, Abu Bakr bin Abi Shayba and Zuhayr bin Harb (on the authority of) Waki’ who narrates from Sufyan who narrates from Habib bin Abi Thabit who narrates from Abu Wa’il who narrates from Abu al-Hayyaj that ‘Ali told him: “I assign you for a task which the Holy Prophet (s) assigned me for the same. Do not leave any picture but that which you erase nor any high grave but that you level it.”(2)

The Wahhabis have utilised this tradition as a pretext without paying attention to the authenticity and logic of the tradition.

Our Views about this Tradition

Whenever we wish to derive an Islamic ruling from a hadith, it should possess two conditions:

1. The authenticity of tradition should be correct; that is to say,

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1- al-Samhudi, Wafa’ al-wafa’ fi akhbar dar al-Mustafa, pp. 383 to 390..
2- Sahih Muslim, kitab al-jana’iz, vol. 3 p. 61; Sunan al-Tirmidhi, bab ma ja’a fi taswiyat al-qabr, vol. 2 p. 256; and Sunan al-Nasa’i, bab taswiyat al-qabr, vol. 4, p. 88.

the narrators of tradition should be such people that one could rely on their sayings.

2. The instruction of tradition should be clear upon the purpose.

That is to say the words and the sentences of the tradition should clearly prove our purpose such that if we give the same tradition to a person well versed in language and aware of its specifications, he would be able to derive the same meaning as we derive.

Unfortunately, this tradition is worthy of criticism from both these points especially the second, where one can find no relation with its purpose.

From the viewpoint of authenticity (isnad), the traditionalists (those expert in the science of hadith) do not accept the reliability of the persons narrating this tradition because we see that its narrators are people like (1) Waki’ (2) Sufyan al-Thawri (3) Habib bin Abi Thabit and (4) Abu Wa’il al-‘Asadi.

A traditionalist such as Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-’Asqalani has criticised them in his book Tahdhib al-tahdhib to such an extent that it throws doubt and uncertainty on the authenticity of the aforementioned tradition and other traditions narrated by them.

1. For example he narrates from Ahmad bin Hanbal about Waki’ that:

إنه أخطأ فی خمس مائه حدیثٍ

“He has committed mistakes in 500 traditions.”(1)

He also narrates from Muhammad ibn Nasr al-Marwazi about Waki’ that:

کان یحدُث بالمغنی ولم یکُن مِن أهل اللسان

“He used to narrate the tradition according to its meaning (rather than narrating the precise text) while his mother-tongue was

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1- Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Tahdhib al-tahdhib, vol. 11, p. 125.

not Arabic.”(1)

2. About Sufyan al-Thawri, he narrates from Ibn al-Mubarak that:

حدث سُفیان بحدیث فجِسته وهو یُدلسه فلما رانی إستحیی

“Sufyan was narrating a tradition when I suddenly arrived and noticed that he was deceiving in tradition. When he saw me, he felt ashamed.”(2)

Deception in any tradition in whatever meaning it may be interpreted shows that there had been no equity, truthfulness and realism in such a man that he has presented the untrue things to be true.

In the translation of Yahya al-Qattan, he narrates from him that Sufyan tried to present to me an unreliable person to be reliable but eventually he was unsuccessful.(3)

3. About Habib ibn Abi Thabit, he narrates from Ibn Hibban that:


“He was deceiving in tradition.”

He also narrates from al-Qattan that:

لا یُتابع علیه ولیست محفوظهً

“His traditions cannot be followed because they are not firm.”(4)

4. About Abi Wa’il he says:

“He is from the nawasib and from the deviators from (the path) of ‘Ali (‘a).”(5)

It is worthy of attention that in the entire sihah sitta only one tradition is narrated from Abu al-Hayyaj and that is the same which we have discussed already. It shows that a person, whose share from the Prophetic knowledge was only one tradition, was not a man of tradition at all. Therefore, it becomes difficult to rely on him. When the reference of tradition possesses such shortcomings, then no jurisprudent (faqih) can pass a verdict (fatwa) based on such a weak reference.

The ‘instruction’ of tradition is no less important

p: 38

1- Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Tahdhib al-tahdhib, vol. 11 p. 130.
2- Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Tahdhib al-tahdhib, vol. 4 p. 115.
3- Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Tahdhib al-tahdhib, vol. 11 p. 218.
4- Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Tahdhib al-tahdhib, vol. 2 p. 179.
5- Ibn Abi al-Hadid al-Mu’tazili, Sharh Nahj al-balagha, vol. 9 p. 99.

than its reference as the following words in this tradition testify:

ولا قبراً مُشرفاً إلا سوَّیته

Now we will discuss the meaning of these two words i.e. (a). مُشرفاً and (b). سوَّیته

(a). The word مشرفin dictionary means high and elevated and it has been said that

المُشرف من الأماکن: العالی والمُطِلُّ علی غیره

مشرف is a high place overlooking the other place.”(1)

The author of al-Qamus who is having greater validity in the arrangement of meaning of words says:

الشرف مُحرکه : العُلو ومن البعیر سنامه

شرف with vowel of (راء) is named as something ‘high’ and ‘the hump of a camel’.

Therefore the word (مشرف) in absolute term is called as ‘height’ and in particular that height which is in the shape of a hump of a camel. By referring to the past, we have to see the objective pertains to which kind of height.

(b). The word سوَّیته in dictionary means ‘to restore equilibrium’, ‘to make equal’ and ‘to set right the crooked’.

سوَّی الشئ: جعله سویاً یُقال: سوَّیت المُعوج فما استوی ، صنعه مُستویاً

سوَّی الشئ. He made it straight; Arab says - I wanted to set right the crooked which was not smoothened. It also comes in the meaning of ‘a faultless product’.

The Holy Qur’an says:

الَّذِی خَلَقَ فَسَوَّیٰ

“Who creates, then makes complete. (A’la 87:2)”

After knowing the meanings of phrases and words, we have to see what this tradition means!

Two possibilities exist in this tradition. We have to select one of the two by paying attention to the individual meanings

p: 39

1- Al-Munjid.

and other logical possibilities, the first one of it is:

1. One possibility is that Prophet (s) ordered Abul-Haiyyaj to destroy the elevated graves and level them to the ground.

This possibility which the Wahhabis rely upon is rejected due to the following reasons:

Firstly, the word سوَّیته does not mean ‘to destroy’ or ‘to demolish’ and if it meant so then they should have said:

ولا قبراً مُشرفاً إلا سوَّیته بالأرض

Level them to the ground while we do not find such words in the tradition.

Secondly, if it is meant what they say then why the scholars of Islam have not given such a verdict (fatwa)? It is because levelling of grave to the ground is against the Islamic Sunnah which says that a grave should be slightly higher than the ground level and all the jurisprudents (fuqaha) of Islam have given verdict (fatwa) over this matter that a grave should be higher than the level of ground by one span.

In the book al-Fiqh ‘ala al-madhahib al-‘arba’a, as per the verdicts (fatawa) of the four well-known Imams (Hanifa, Malek, Shafe’i and Hanbal), we read as such:

ویندُب ارتفاع التُراب فوق القبر بقدر شِبرٍ

“It is recommended (mustahab) that the soil of grave be higher than the ground by one span.”(1)

By paying attention to this matter we are bound to interpret the tradition in some other way to which we shall now refer.

2. Second possibility is that he was ordered to make the top of the grave uniform, even

p: 40

1- al-Fiqh ‘ala al-madhahib al-‘arba’a, vol. 1, p. 420.

or flat and not like the graves which are made in the shape of the hind of a fish or the hump of a camel.

Therefore, the tradition is a witness to this fact that the top of a grave should be even and flat and not in the shape of the hind of a fish or a hump which is common among some of the Ahl al-Sunnah. All the four well-known Imams of Ahl al-Sunnah, except al-Shafi’i, have given fatwa that the grave is recommended to be so. Thus this tradition conforms to the Shi’a scholars who say that a grave apart from being above the ground should be even and flat.(1)

Incidentally, Muslim, the author of Sahih has himself brought this tradition and another tradition which we shall soon discuss under the title

باب الأمر بتوسیه القبر

and similarly al-Tirmidhi and al-Nasa’i have brought this tradition in their Sunan under the aforementioned title. This title gives the meaning that the surface of grave should be even and flat and if it meant that the graves should be made level to the ground then it was necessary to change the title and name it as الأمر بتخریب القبور وهدمها

Incidentally, in Arabic language if سوَّیته is ascribed to any thing (like grave) it means that the thing itself should be flat and even and not that it should be made equal with any thing (like ground).

Here we produce another tradition which Muslim has narrated in his Sahih and this tradition

p: 41

1- al-Fiqh ‘ala al-madhahib al-‘arba’a, vol. 1, p. 420. Therefore, no groups from the Islamic tradition have acted upon this tradition, except the Shafi’i’s and the Shi’a.

too contains the same contents which we have approved.

کُنا مع فضاله بن عُبید بأرض الرُّوم برودسٍ فتوَفَّی صاحب لنا فامر فصاله بن عُبید بقبره فسوَّی ثم قال سمعت رسول الله یأمر بتسوِیتها.

The narrator says: “We were with Fudala bin ‘Ubayd in Rome when one of our companions died. Fudala ordered that his grave be made uniform and said that he had heard the Holy Prophet (s) giving instructions for the levelling of graves.”(1)

The key to understanding this tradition lies in acquiring the meaning of the word سوَّیته which possesses three possible meanings. By paying attention to the legal presumptions one of them should be selected. Here are the three possibilities:

1. One meaning is ‘to destroy the structure over the graves!’ This possibility is false because the graves which were in Medina were not possessing structure or dome.

2. Another meaning is ‘to level the surface of the grave to the ground’. This is against the Sunnah (practice) of the Prophet (s) which is conclusive that the grave should be above the ground by one span.

3. Lastly it could mean ‘to surface the grave and make even the uneven portions and hence bring it out from the shape of hind of a fish or hump of a camel’. This meaning is exact and precise and needs no reason for proving this interpretation.

Now let us see how the famous commentator of Sahih Muslim, al-Nawawi, interprets the tradition. He says:

إن السُنه أن القبر لا یُرفع عن الأرض رفعاً کثیراً ولا یُسنَّم

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1- Sahih Muslim, kitab al-jana’iz, vol. 3 p. 61.

بل یُرفع نحو شبرٍ ویُسطَّح

“It is Sunnah (tradition) that the grave should not possess excessive height above the ground and should hot have a shape of a hump of a camel. However it should be one span above the ground and should be even.”(1)

This sentence shows that the commentator of Sahih Muslim has derived the same meaning as we have derived from the word سوَّیته. That is to say, Imam al-Nawawi recommended and advised that the surface of the graves should not possess the shape of the hind of a fish and they should be made uniform, flat and even, not that they should be levelled with the ground or that the grave and the structure on it should be destroyed.

It is not only we who have interpreted the tradition as such but al-Hafiz al-Qastallani too in his book Irshad al-sari fi sharh Sahih al-Bukhari has interpreted the tradition as we have. He says:

“It is the sunnah that a grave should be surfaced and we should never abandon this Sunnah just because surfacing of the grave is the motto of the rawafid. When we say that the Sunnah is surfacing of grave (having no difference with the tradition of Abu al-Hayyaj) it is because

لأنه لم یُرد تسؤِیته بالإرض وإنما أراد تسطیحه جمعاً بین الأخبار...

The objective is not to make the grave on par with the ground but the objective is to make the surface of the grave flat and even although being above the ground level.(2)


p: 43

1- al-Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim, vol. 7, p. 36.
2- al-Qastallani, Irshad al-sari, vol. 2 p. 468.

if the objective of recommendation was to destroy the structures and domes over the graves then why didn't ‘Ali (‘a) himself destroy the domes over the graves of the Prophets existing during his own time!? Besides, he was the ruler over the Islamic lands and places like Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Iran and Yemen, which were full of such structures over the graves of the Prophets and were within his sight.

Forgoing all that we have said even if we assume that Imam (‘a) ordered Abu al-Hayyaj to level all the elevated graves on par with the ground, still the tradition never bears testimony over the necessity of destroying the structures over the graves since Imam (‘a) has said:

ولا قبراً إلا سوَّیته

i.e. ‘destroy the graves’, but has not said:

ولا بناءً ولا قُبه إلا سوَّیتهما

‘There is no building and no dome (dome of grave) unless I made them separate’.

Moreover our discussion is not about grave itself but about construction and structures over the graves where people occupy themselves under the shade of these structures and recite the Qur’an, invocation and prayers. Which part of this sentence bears testimony for the destruction of the structures surrounding the graves which in fact facilitates the visitors to worship and recite Qur’an and protects them from extreme heat or cold!

Two More Possibilities In Tradition

In the end we are bound to present two more possibilities in the tradition:

(1) It is possible that this and some other similar traditions are pointing to a series of graves

p: 44

of the past people where people took the graves of the pious and virtuous people as their qibla instead of performing prayers towards the true qibla. They used to perform prayers over the grave and the picture which was near the grave and were refraining from facing the true qibla which God has selected.

Thus the tradition has no connection to the graves which have never been prostrated upon by the Muslims but have recited prayers near them facing the divine qibla (Ka’ba).

And if they expedite in visiting the graves of the pious people and worship God near their pure bodies and the holy graves, it is because of the high esteem these dignified places have acquired due to the burial of their bodies. We shall discuss about them later on.

(2) By تمثالاً is meant the portrait of idols and by قبر is meant the graves of polytheists which were still respected by their near and far ones.

Over here we shall narrate the verdicts of the four scholars of Sunni school of thought:

یُکره ان یُبنی علی القبر بیت أو قُبه أو مدرسه أو مسجد

“It is makruh (abominable) to build a house, dome, school or mosque over the grave.”(1)

With such consensus existing amongst the four Imams how can the judge of Najd insist that construction over the grave is haram (prohibited)!?

Moreover, its being makruh is itself not having a decisive and correct reference especially when construction over the grave provides a means of worship for the visitor

p: 45

1- al-Fiqh ‘ala al-madhahib al-‘arba’a, vol. 1, p. 421.

to the grave of Prophets and pious people.

D. Analysis of Hadith of Jabir


The tradition of Jabir is one of the references which the Wahhabis rely on to prove the matter of prohibition of construction of the grave. This tradition has been narrated in different ways in the books of Sihah and Sunan of the Ahl al-Sunnah and in all the references we see the names of Ibn Jurayh and Abu al-Zubayr.

We shall investigate them by narrating all the phases of tradition with their references and then mention our own views regarding the scale of its competency based on logical reasoning.

Muslim narrates in his Sihah in the chapter:

النهی عن تجصیص القبر والبناء علیه

‘Prohibition to plaster-mould or make construction on a grave’

The tradition of Jabir is reported with three chains of narration, and with two texts. The first one is:


حدثنا أبو بکر بن أبی شیبه ، حدثنا حفص بن غیاث ، عن ابن جریج ، عن أبی الزُبیر ، عن جابر قال نهی رسول

الله أن یُجصص القبر وأن یُقعد علیه وأن یُبنی علیه

“It is narrated from Abu Bakr bin Shaybah, (who said) Hafs bin Ghiyath narrated to us, from Ibn Jurayh, and from Abu al Zubayr from Jabir who said that The Prophet of God (s) prohibited the plastering of graves and prohibited anyone from sitting or constructing over them”


حدثنی هارون بن عبد الله ، حدثنا حجاج بن محمد وحدثنی محمد بن رافع حدثنا عبد الرازق جمیعاً عن ابن جُریح

قال اخبرنی أبو الزبیر ، أنه سمع جابر بن عبد الله یقول

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سمعت النبی بمثله

Here the text of the tradition is indicated to be the same but its chain of narration differs slightly from the first.


حدثنا یحیی بن یحیی ، اخبرنا اسماعیل بن عُلیَّه عن أیُوب عن ابی الزُبیر عن جابر قال نهی عن تجصیص القبور.

“The Holy Prophet (s) prohibited the plastering of graves.”(1)

Sahih al-Tirmidhi narrates one tradition with one chain of narration in the chapter:

کراهیه تجصیص القبور والکتابه علیها

‘Abominability of plaster moulding and writing on graves’


حدثنا عبد الرحمن بن الأسود ، اخبرنا محمد بن ربیعه عن ابن جُریح ، عن ابی الزبیر عن جابر قال: نهی رسول

الله (صلی الله علیه وأله) عن تجصیص القبور وان یُکتب علیها وأن یُبنی علیها وأن توطاء

“The Holy Prophet (s) prohibited us from plastering the graves and writing on them, and from making and constructing over them.”

Thereafter al-Tirmidhi narrates from al-Hasan al-Basri and al-Shafi’i that they have permitted growing of flowers over the grave.(2)

Ibn Maja narrates a tradition with two texts and two chains of narration in his Sahih in the chapter entitled:

ما جاء فی النهی عن البناء علی القبور وتجصیصها والکتابه علیها

‘What it is been said, is about prohibition of building, plaster-moulding and writing on graves (engraving)’

5. 6.

حدثنا ازهر بن مروان ، ومحمد بن زیاد قال حدثنا عبد الوارث ، عن أیوب عن أبی الزُبیر عن جابر قال نهی رسول

الله عن تجصیص القُبور. حدثنا عبد الله بن سعید ، حدثنا حفص عن ابن جُریح عن سُلیمان بن مُوسی عن جابر

قال: نهی رسول الله ان یُکتب علی القبر شئ

It is

p: 47

1- Sahih Muslim, kitab al-jana’iz, vol. 3 p. 62.
2- Sunan al-Tirmidhi, (ed. by ‘Abd al-Rahman Muhammad ‘Uthman, al-Maktaba al-salafiyya), vol. 2 p. 208.

narrated from Azhar ibn Marwan, Muhammad-ibn-Ziad said Abdul Wareth has narrated to us from Ayub from Abi-Zubair from Jaber that Prophet (s) of God has prohibited from plaster-moulding on graves.

Abdullah-ibn-Saeed narrated us, Hafs from Ibn Jarih from Sulaiman Ibn Musa from Jaber that Prophet (s) of God has prohibited to engrave anything on graves.(1)

After narrating this tradition, the commentator al-Sindi, quotes al-Hakim al-Naysaburi and says:

“The tradition is Sahih but not practical because the Islamic leaders from East to West have been writing over the graves. This is a practice which the people have adopted from the past generations.”

al-Nasa’i narrates in his Sahih in the chapter of البناء علی القبر with two chains of narration and two texts:

7. 8.

اخبرنا یُوسف بن سعید قال حدثنا حجاج عن ابن جُریح قال اخبرنی ابو الزُبیر انه سمع جابر یقُول نهی رسول الله

عن تجصیص القُبور أو یُبنی علیها أو یجلس علیها أحد. أخبرنا عمران بن موسی قال حدثنا عبد الوارث قال

حدثنا ایُوب عن ابی الزُبیر عن جابر قال نهی رسول الله عن تجصص القُبور.

Yousuf bin Saeed reported to us that Hajjaj narrated from ibn Jarih who said I heard from Abu Zubair who heard Jabir he said that Prophet (s) of God prohibited to plaster-mould or build on a grave or someone sitting on it.

Imran ibn Musa reported to us who said, narrated to us Abdul Warith, who said narrated to us Ayub, from Abi Zubair, from Jabir who said that Prophet (s) of God prohibited plastering mould graves.(2)

In the Sunan of Abu

p: 48

1- Sahih Ibn Maja, kitab al-jana’iz, vol. 1, p. 473.
2- Sahih al-Nasa’i (printed with commentary of Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti), vol. 4 pp. 87-88.

Dawud (vol. 3, p. 216) chapter of البناء علی القبر tradition of Jabir is narrated with two chains of narrations and two texts:

9. 10.

حدثنا احمد بن حنبل ، حدثنا عبد الرزاق حدثنا ابن جریح ، اخبرنی ابو الزبیر انه سمع جابراً یقول سمعت النبی

نهی ان یُقعد علی القبر وان یُجصص ویُبنی علیه.

حدثنا مسدد وعثمان بن ابی شیبه قال حدثنا حفص بن غیاث عن ابن جُریح عن سُلیمان بن موسی وعن ابی الزبیر

عن جابر بهذا الحدیث قال ابو داود قال: عثمان أو یُزاد علیه وزاد سُلیمان بن موسی أو أن یُکتب علیه.

“…..Abu Dawud says: “The Holy Prophet (s) has prohibited us from writing over the grave or from raising it.”

Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal in his al-Musnad has narrated the tradition of Jabir as follows:


عن عبد الرزاق عن ابن جُریح اخبرنی ابو الزبیر انه سمع جابر بن عبد الله یقول سمعت النبی ینهی ان یقعد الرجل

علی القبر وان یُجصص وان یُبنی علیها.

From Abd al-Razzaq from Ibn Joraih who reported from Abu Zubair that Jabir Ibn Abdullah said that I heard from Prophet (s), he prohibited people from sitting on grave or plaster- moulding or building on it.(1)

These were the various forms of the tradition that have been narrated with different chains of narration and texts. Now let us see whether the tradition can be rationalized or not.

Points of Weakness in this Tradition

The tradition of Jabir is faced with a series of problems that no logical reasoning can be based on it.

Firstly: In all the chains of transmission of this tradition, Ibn Jurayh(2) and Abu

p: 49

1- Ibn Hanbal, al-Musnad, vol. 3 p. 295 and p. 332, and he narrates from Jabir in the mursal form on p. 399.
2- He is ‘Abd al-Malik bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz bin Jurayh al-‘Umawi.

al-Zubayr(1) He is Muhammad bin Muslim al-‘Asadi. have either both come together or at least one of them has been mentioned. Now if the position of these two persons is clarified, then it would be needless to discuss about other people who have come in the chains of transmission of this tradition. Although a section of the narrators are from the unknown and weak still by clarifying the position of these two people it is not required to discuss and talk about the others.

Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani narrates in Tahdhib al-tahdhib about Ibn Jurayh quoting from the distinguished scholars as follows:

Yahya bin Sa’id was asked about the hadith of Ibn Jurayh to which he said: ‘If Ibn Jurayh does narrate a tradition from the book, he cannot be relied upon’. It was said to him that he uses akhbarani (technical term used in isnad followed by identification of the transmitter from whom the report was obtained), to which he said, “It’s nothing… all of it is weak.”

He narrates from Ahmad bin Hanbal that if Ibn Jurayh says:

قال فلان قال فلان واخبرتُ جاء بمناکیرٍ

“..that so and so said such and such then he has narrated a false tradition.”

Malik bin Anas says: In the matter of traditions Ibn Jurayh is like one who collects twigs in the darkness of night. (where his hand will be bitten by snake and scorpion).

From al-Darqutni, who says:

تجنب تدلیس ابن جُریح فإنه قبیح التدلیس لا یُدلس إلا فیما سمعه مِن مجروج

Keep away from the

p: 50

1- He is Muhammad bin Muslim al-‘Asadi.

craftiness (presenting the false to be true) of Ibn Jurayh for he plays a dirty hypocrisy. Whenever he hears a tradition from a weak person, he presents it in such a manner that as if it was from a reliable person.

From Ibn Hibban who says that: Ibn Jurayh plays trickery in tradition.(1)

With such judgements from the scholars of ‘ilm al-rijal can one rely on the tradition of such a person and in contrast to the decisive path of the Muslims who were always renovating the graves of awliya Allah and respecting them, is it possible to have confidence in such a narrator?

About Abu al-Zubayr’s position, Ibn Hajar narrates the following sentences from the scholars of rijal:

The son of Ahmad bin Hanbal narrates from his father who narrates from Ayyub that he (i.e. Abu al-Zubayr) was weak in hadith.

Ibn Hajar narrates from Shu’ba that Abu al-Zubayr did not know how to recite his prayers properly. Again he narrates from him as such: “I was in Mecca when a person came to Abu al-Zubayr and asked him some questions to which the latter started to defame him. I told him that he was accusing a Muslim. He replied: He has made me angry. I informed him that since he was defaming everyone who made him angry I would no longer narrate any tradition from him.”

Again Ibn Hajar asked Shu’ba as to why he stopped narrating tradition from Abu al-Zubayr. He replied: “I saw him openly performing bad deeds.”


p: 51

1- Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Tahdhib al-tahdhib, (Dar al-ma’arif al-nizamiyya), vol. 6 p. 402, 404 and p. 506.

Hajar narrates from Ibn Abi Hatim that he asked his father about the character of Abu al-Zubayr to which he replied: “His traditions are written but they cannot be relied upon.”

Ibn Hajar further narrates from him that the latter informed Abu Zur’a that people were narrating traditions from Abu al-Zubayr and asked him whether he could be relied or not.

He replied: ‘The tradition of only a trustworthy person can be used as an argument (a sarcastic remark to indicate that he was not a trustworthy person)’.

This is the position of these two persons who have come in all the chains of narration of the tradition. Is it possible to rely on a hadith that is reported by these two persons?

Even if we assume that others mentioned in the references are reliable (while in fact some of them like ‘Abd al-Rahman bin ‘Aswad were accused of being liars), can such a tradition be used as argument when its narrators are these two people.

Is it really fair that with such a tradition that is having such a weak authenticity, one can destroys the traces of household of the prophet and his companions and find fault with the actions of the Muslims in these fourteen centuries?

Secondly: The tradition is a matter of concern from the viewpoint of text. This is because of the fact that the narrators have not heeded sufficient attention to memorising its text. And this concern is such that a person loses confidence in them. Now we

p: 52

shall describe the kind of concern:

The tradition of Jabir has been narrated in seven forms whereas the Holy Prophet (s) has mentioned that in one form. Here are the descriptions of the seven forms:

1. The Holy Prophet (s) has prohibited plastering of the graves and resting or constructing a structure over them. (Traditions no 1, 2 and 9).

2. The Holy Prophet (s) has prohibited plastering of graves.

(Traditions no.5 and 8).

3. The Holy Prophet (s) has prohibited plastering, writing, constructing and walking over the graves. (Tradition no.4).

4. The Holy Prophet (s) has prohibited writing over the graves.

(Tradition no.6).

5. The Holy Prophet (s) has prohibited sitting over the grave or plastering and constructing and sitting over it. (Tradition no.10)

6. The Holy Prophet (s) has prevented from sitting, plastering or constructing over the grave.

(Tradition no.11) This one differs from the first where in the first form resting is prohibited while here sitting is prohibited).

7. The Holy Prophet (s) has prohibited from sitting, plastering, constructing and writing over the grave or raising the grave. Here, the prohibition of writing over the grave and raising the grave is added.

Apart from this, there are some differences and contradictions among the interpretations. In the first case, resting is mentioned; in the third case walking is mentioned and in the fifth and sixth case we find sitting.

With such problems, no jurisprudent (faqih) can rely upon this tradition.

Thirdly: Assuming that the chains of narration of this tradition are reliable,

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it does not indicate more than that the Holy Prophet (s) prevented construction over graves. However, preventing one thing is no proof of its being prohibited because prohibition sometimes is of haram type and sometimes of makruh type and prohibition has been mostly used in the makruh sense in the discourse of the Holy Prophet (s) and other religious leaders.

It is true that the first meaning of prohibition that is to say in real term is ‘nahi’ which is same as haram and till a proper terminology for another meaning is not found, we can never take it to be makruh, yet the scholars and the fuqaha have not taken this tradition to be anything but in the makruh sense. For example, al-Tirmidhi in his Sahih narrates the tradition under the chapter:

کراهیه تجصیص القُبور

A clear proof that it is makruh is the same which al-Sindi, commentator of Sahih Ibn Maja narrates from al-Hakim al-Naysaburi who says that none of the Muslims have acted upon this prohibition. That is to say he has not presented it to be a prohibition in the haram sense calling to witness the fact that all Muslims have been writing on the graves.

Another proof that this prohibition is in the makruh sense is the consensus of the Islamic scholars upon the permissibility of construction over the grave except that if the land is endowed.

The commentator of Sahih Muslim in his commentary of this tradition writes:

أما البناء فإن کان فی مِلک البانی فمکروه

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وإن کان فی مقبره مسبله فحرامً نصَّ علیه الشافعِی والأصحاب.

“Construction over the grave in the land belonging to the owner of the grave is makruh and in the endowed land is haram. Al-Shafi’i has emphasised upon this matter and even brought the tradition under the title of chapter.”(1)

کراهه تجصیص القبر والبناء علیه

However, it is obvious that a thing being makruh does not become an obstacle. The fact being that sometimes due to a series of affairs that makruh gets eliminated. Whenever renovation of grave becomes the source of protection of the originality of Islam or the source of manifestation of love for the owner of grave which God has made their love obligatory or the source of protection of Islamic signs or becomes the cause for the visitors to recite Qur’an and invocation under the shade of the structure over the grave than surely not only such benefits (which arise from the construction over the grave) eliminate the makruh element but make them mustahab (recommended).

The decree of mustahab or makruh changes under various pretexts. It is likely that a makruh becomes good due to some pretext or a series of mustahabi (recommended) affairs become abominable due to some other events because makruh and mustahab of one thing is nothing but expedient for being hated or loved respectively. But these expedients are effective under the condition that no obstacle nullifies their expediences and effects and this matter is clear for those people who are acquainted with Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh).

Logical Analysis of Two More Traditions


Now that

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1- Sahih Muslim, (Egypt), vol. 3 p. 62.

our discussion has reached this stage, it is worthy that we examine some more traditions which are referred to by the Wahhabis.

1. Ibn Maja narrates in his Sahih as such:

حدثنا محمد بن یحیی ، حدثنا محمد بن عبد الله الرقاشی ، حدثنا وهب ، حدثنا عبد الرحمن بن یزید بن جابره ، عن

القاسم بن مخیمره عن ابی سعید: إن النبی نهی أن یُبنی علی القبر

Mohammad Ibn Yahya, Muhammad Ibn Abdullah, Al-Riqashi, Wahab, Abdur Rahman Ibn Yazid Ibn Jaber, have narrated to us from Qasim ibn Mokhaimara from Abi Saeed: “Verily Prophet Muhammad (s) prohibited make construction on graves.”(1)

Ahmad bin Hanbal in his al-Musnad narrates one tradition with two chains of narration. Here we narrate both of them:

حدثنا ، حسن ، حدثنا ابن لهیعه ، حدثنا بُرید ابن أبی حبیب عن ناعم مولی اُم سلمه عن أم سلمه قالت: نهی رسول

الله ان یُبنی علی القبر أو یُجصص

2. Narrated Hassan, Ibn Lahiaah narrated, Baraid Ibn Abi Habib narrated from Naim servant of Umme Salamah. She said: ‘Prophet of God prohibited to build (construction) on grave or plaster-moulding.’(2)

علیً بن اسحاق حدثنا عبد الله ، ابن لهیعه ، حدثنی بُرید بن أبی حبیب عن ناعم مولی أم سلمه ، أن النبی نهی أن

یُجصص قبر أو یُبنی علیه أو یُجلس

3. Ali Ibn Ishaq narrated, Abdullah ibn Lahiaah, narrated Boraid ibn Abi Habib from Naeem, servant of Umme Salama: ‘Prophet prohibited to plaster-mould a grave or build (make construction) on it or sit on it.’(3)

To prove the weakness of the first tradition suffice it

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1- Sahih Ibn Maja, vol. 1 p. 474.
2- Ibn Hanbal, al-Musnad, vol. 6 p. 299.
3- Ibn Hanbal, al-Musnad, vol. 6 p. 299.

is to say that one of the narrators is Wahab who is completely مجهول(unknown) and it is not known which ‘Wahab’ is the narrator of this tradition. In Mizan al-‘i’tidal seventeen Wahabs are mentioned and it is not known that this Wahab is which one of them where most of them are regarded to be fabricators of traditions and known liars.(1)

The major problem of the second and third traditions is the presence of ‘Abdulla ibn Lahi’a. Al-Dhahabi writes about him as such:

قال ابن معین ضعیف لا یحتج به قال الحمیدی عن یحیی ابن سعید انه کان لا یراه شیئاً

Ibn Ma’in has said that he is weak and his tradition cannot be argued upon(2).

Al-Humaydi narrated from Yahya bin Sa’id that he does not count him to be of any significance.

We shall now pass from the controversies in the sanad and turn over to the following matter. All the historians and Islamic muhaddithun (traditionists) have narrated that the holy body of the Holy Prophet (s) was buried by the approval of his companions in the house and chamber of his wife Ayesha. In selecting the place of his burial, the companions have relied on the tradition narrated by Abu Bakr from the Holy Prophet (s) that any Prophet who dies in any place should be buried in that very place.(3)

The question arises here that if the Holy Prophet (s) had really prohibited construction over the grave then how was it that he was buried under the ceiling and

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1- al-Dhahabi, Mizan al-‘i’tidal, vol. 3 pp. 350 to 355.
2- al-Dhahabi, Mizan al-‘i’tidal, vol. 2 p. 476 under the title ‘Abdulla ibn Lahi’a; Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Tahdhib al-tahdhib, vol. 1 p. 444.
3- Ibn Hanbal, al-Musnad, vol. 1 p. 7; Sahih al-Tirmidhi, vol. 2 p. 139; Ibn Sa’d, al-Tabaqat, vol. 2 p. 71; and others.

his grave became such that it possessed a structure. It is a matter of laughter when some of the dry and rigid Wahhabis say that what is forbidden is making the structure over the grave and not the burial of body under the structure and the Holy Prophet (s) was buried under the structure and not that a structure was made over his grave.(1)

Such an interpretation of the tradition shows no motive other than explaining one external fact (burial of the body of the Holy Prophet (s) under a structure) and if one Wahhabi was not faced with such a fact he would have ordered both these acts to be haram (forbidden).

Basically at this juncture we ask the Wahhabis some questions:

Is it that only the original construction over the grave of the dead person forbidden and if someone has already made such a construction then is its continuity not forbidden although its original construction was forbidden?

Or is it that the original construction and its continuity both are forbidden?

If only the original construction is forbidden and their continuity was not forbidden, then the question arises that why the Government of Sa’ud destroyed by force the traces of Messengership and the houses of the household of the Holy Prophet (s) and the domes of his children and companions who were already buried under the structures.

Moreover, this supposition is against the verdicts (fatawa) of founders of Wahhabism such as Ibn al-Qayyim and Ibn Taymiyya.

The former says:

یجب هدم

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1- Muqbil bin al-Hadi al-Wadi, Riyad al-janna, (Kuwait), p. 269.

المشاهد التی بُنِیت علی القبور ولا یجوز إبقاءها بعد القُدره علی هدمها وإبطالها یوماً واحداً.

“It is obligatory to destroy the structures made over the graves and after gaining power for its destruction it is not permissible to let it remain and to preserve it even for one day.”

With this explanation it is not correct for a Wahhabi to select the first alternative of our question. Thus he is bound to select the second and say that the construction over the grave is haram in both the cases.

At this moment, a question will arise as to why the Muslims buried the holy body of the Prophet (s) under a roofed place. Although it is true that they did not originally construct over his grave yet they acted in such a way that the grave of the Holy Prophet (s) was already having a structure.

Here a Wahhabi has only one route of escape and that is for explaining the physical action of the Muslims he will say: Preservation and continuation of grave is forbidden when original construction takes place over the grave and if at the time of the original construction, there was no grave then its continuation (no matter if it is in the form of construction over grave) is not haram.

Such dissociation has no reason other than justifying one external fact (action of Muslims).

Wahhabism entangled in the contradiction between the school of thought and the practice of Muslims

This point is not the only instance where the Wahhabism has been caught in the scuffle of contradiction between its school of

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thought and the deeds of Muslims.

It has been aimlessly struggling in other instances too. It strictly prohibits tabarruk of the remains of the Holy Prophet (s) and say: “Stone, soil etc are of no use.” On the other hand we see the Muslims constantly kissing and touching the stone (hajr al-‘aswad) or kissing the curtain of the Ka’ba or seeking tabarruk from its door and walls which according to Wahhabis bears no result.

They have prohibited construction of mosque near the grave of the awliya Allah whereas in the entire Islamic lands, mosques exist near the graves. Even besides the grave of Hamza there was a mosque which the transgressive Sa’udis have destroyed. At present the grave of the Holy Prophet (s) is in the mosque and the Muslims perform prayers around there.

Preparing an argument instead of adopting a realistic approach

In order to destroy the tombs of the graves of Imams (‘a) buried in Baqi’ the Wahhabis embarked on resorting to arguments and so to speak have found an excuse. They say that the land of Baqi’ is an endowed (waqfi) land and maximum use should be made from this land and every kind of obstruction from reaping the benefits should be removed.

Construction of a structure over the graves of the household of the Prophet (s) is an obstacle from utilising a part of the land of Baqi’, because, although burial is possible in the sanctuary and the shrine, the same cannot be done under the foundations and surrounding walls. Therefore, such constructions should be

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destroyed till the entire land of Baqi’ is exploited for useful purposes.

The Response and Refutation

Undoubtedly such reasoning is nothing but a kind of biased judgment. The Wahhabi judge (qadi) wishes to destroy, by any means, the traces of the household of the Holy Prophet (s) and even if he was unable to find any reason he would still think of destroying them under the cover of force. On account of such a mentality he started to conjure up a pretext and hence brought up the matter of endowment of the land of Baqi’.

Moreover the idea that Baqi’ is an endowed land is nothing more than an imagination since:

Firstly, no book that we could rely on, whether of history or tradition (hadith), mentions that Baqi’ is endowed (waqfi). Instead it is possible to say that Baqi’ was a waste land where the people of Medina used to bury their dead. In this case, such a land will be considered to be amongst the ‘properties belonging to no particular person’ (al-mubahat al-‘awwaliyya) and any kind of appropriation over it is permissible.

In previous times, greed and avarice of the people in possessing the dead and barren land was insignificant and there was no money and power in developing and flourishing them. Moreover, the people living in villages had not yet started to migrate to cities and no issues related to land and no people such as land profiteers existed and no institute by the name of land exchange had come into existence.

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Thus most of the lands were not having owners and they remained as they were and were counted to be part of wastelands.

During these periods the people of every city, village and hamlet allocated a part of the land for the burial of their dead or if someone would become the first in burying his dead once on a piece of land, others would follow suit. As such, they would convert the land into a graveyard without anyone seeking possession of it and making it a waqf for burying the dead.

The land of Baqi’ was no exception to this rule. The lands in Hijaz and Medina were not of much value and with the presence of waste lands around Medina, no wise person would have created an endowment over cultivable land. In a place where waste land is plentiful and cultivable land very scanty, surely the waste land (which is counted to be the property belonging to no particular person) will be used.

Incidentally, history too confirms this reality. Al-Samhudi in Wafa’ al-wafa’ fi akhbar dar al-Mustafa writes:

“The first person who was buried by the Holy Prophet (s) in Baqi’ was ‘Uthman ibn Maz’un (the companion of the Holy Prophet). When Ibrahim, son of the Holy Prophet, died, the Prophet (s) ordered him to be buried near ‘Uthman. From then on, people were inclined to bury their dead in Baqi’ and they cut off the trees (to make space). Each tribe appropriated one piece of the land for

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Thereafter he says:

“The land of Baqi’ was having a tree by the name of gharqad. When the people buried ‘Uthman ibn Maz’un over there the tree was cut off.” (1)

The tree of gharqad is the same wild tree found in the deserts of Medina.

From these words of al-Samhudi we draw a clear conclusion that the land of Baqi’ was a dead land where, after the burial of one companion everyone took a part of it for their respective tribes and the name of waqf has never been seen in history. Instead, history shows that the part or section of Baqi’ where the Imams (‘a) have been buried was the house of ‘Aqil bin Abi Talib and the holy bodies of these four Imams (‘a) were buried in the house which was related to Bani Hashim.

Al-Samhudi writes:

“Abbas bin ‘Abd al-Muttalib was buried near the grave of Fatima bint Asad in the cemetery of Bani Hashim which was in the house of ‘Aqil.”(2)

He also narrates from Sa’id bin Muhammad bin Jubayr that he has seen the grave of Ibrahim, son of the Holy Prophet (s), in the house which was the property of Muhammad bin Zayd bin ‘Ali.

He further narrates that the Holy Prophet (s) buried the body of Sa’d bin Mu’adh in the house of Ibn Aflah which was around Baqi’ and possessed a structure and dome.

All these show that the land of Baqi’ was not endowed (waqfi) and the pure bodies of our

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1- al-Samhudi, Wafa’ al-wafa’ fi akhbar dar al-Mustafa, vol. 2 p. 84.
2- al-Samhudi, Wafa’ al-wafa’ fi akhbar dar al-Mustafa, vol. 2 p. 96.

Imams (‘a) have been buried in the houses owned by themselves.

Under these circumstances, is it correct to destroy, under the pretext of waqf, the traces and signs of the household of the Holy Prophet (s)?

Let us suppose, just for argument’s sake, that the land of Baqi’ was a waqf. But is there any hint about the circumstances in which the waqf was made? Perhaps the one making the waqf has given permission for construction over the grave of noble personalities. So, because we do not know, we should interpret a believer's deeds as right, and not accuse him of offence.

Under these situations, destroying these domes and houses will be considered forbidden (haram) and going against the divine laws.

The qadi Ibn Bulayhid and his supporters knew well that the idea of waqf was one kind of preparing a reason and carving an argument. Even if they were not having such reason, they would have still destroyed the signs of the Holy Prophet (s) because this is not the first time they have destroyed the traces of Messengership. In the year 1221 AH when they gained control over Medina for the first time, they destroyed the traces of Messengership. Later, when they were expelled from the land of Hijaz by the ‘Uthmani forces, all the structures were re-built.

Construction of Mosque Near The Graves of Pious People


Is construction of mosque near or in front of the grave of pious people permissible or not? Supposing it is permitted, then what is the main purpose of

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the tradition (hadith) of the Holy Prophet (s) regarding the actions of Jews and Christians as it has come in a tradition that the Holy Prophet (s) has cursed these two groups for considering the graves of their Prophets as objects of worship? Moreover, is construction of mosque near the graves of the Awliya inseparable with what has come down in this tradition!?

Answer: By paying attention to the general principles of Islam, construction of mosques, in the vicinity of graves of the awliya and pious d oesn’t not have the least problem. This is because the purpose of construction of mosque is nothing more than worshipping Allah near the grave of His beloved who has become the source of receiving gifts. In other words, the aim of establishing mosque in these instances is that the visitors to the Divine leaders either before or after their ziyarat, perform their duty of worship (‘ibadat) over there in as much as neither ziyara to graves is forbidden (even from the viewpoint of Wahhabis) nor performing of salat, after or before ziyarat. Therefore, there is no reason to believe that the construction of mosque near the graves of awliya for the purpose of worshipping Allah and performing divine duties is forbidden.

By paying attention to the story of Ashab al-Kahf it is deduced that this action was a custom prevalent in the previous religions and Qur’an has narrated that without any criticism. When the incident of Companions of Kahf was disclosed to the

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people of that time after 309 years, they expressed their views about the ways of honouring the Companions of Kahf. One group said that a structure should be made over their grave (so that apart from honouring them their names, signs and memories are kept alive). Qur’an expresses this view as such:

فَقَالُوا ابْنُوا عَلَیْهِمْ بُنْیَانًا

“…..Erect an edifice over them…., (Kahf 18:21)”

Another group said that a mosque should be built over their grave (and in this way tabarruk sought). The Islamic commentators are unanimous in their views.(1) that the suggestion of the first group was related to the polytheists and the suggestion of the second group was that of the monotheists. The Qur’an, while narrating this saying, says:

قَالَ الَّذِینَ غَلَبُوا عَلَیٰ أَمْرِهِمْ لَنَتَّخِذَنَّ عَلَیْهِمْ مَسْجِدًا

Those who prevailed in their affair said: We will certainly raise a masjid over them. (Kahf 18:21)(2)

History has it that the period of occurrence of the incidence of Companions of Kahf was the period of victory of monotheism over polytheism. There was no more of the sovereignty of the polytheists, nor their calling the people towards idol-worshipping. Naturally, this victorious group will be the same monotheist group, especially, that the content of their suggestion was the matter of construction of mosque for the sake of worshipping Allah. This itself is a witness that those making the suggestion were monotheists and God-worshippers.

If really the construction of mosque over or near the grave of the holy persons is a sin or polytheism, then why the

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1- Refer to Tafsir al-Kashshaf of al-Zamakhshari, Ghara’ib al-Qur’an of al-Naysaburi, and others.
2- Sahih al-Bukhari, kitab al-jana’iz, vol. 2, page 111.

monotheists made such a suggestion and why Qur’an narrates this without any criticism? Is not the narration of Qur’an together with this silence a testimony upon its permissibility? It is never proper that God narrates the sign of polytheism from a group but without specifically or implicitly criticising them. And this reasoning is the same ‘assertion’ which has been explained in ‘ilm al-‘usul. (Methodology)

This event shows that it has been one kind of lasting conduct amongst all the monotheists and was one way of honouring the one in grave or a means of seeking tabarruk.

It was reasonable and polite of the Wahhabis that before arguing about hadith, they should first have sought the reference from the Holy Qur’an and then attempted the analysis of the tradition.

Now we shall discuss and examine their reasonings.

Reasoning Of Wahhabis That Construction Of Mosque Near Grave Is Forbidden

By presenting a series of traditions, the Wahhabis have analysed the matter of construction of mosque near the grave of pious people to be forbidden. We shall examine all such traditions:

Bukhari in his Sahih under the chapter of یکره من إنخاذ المساجد علی القبور narrates two traditions as such:

لما مات الحسن بن الحسن بن علیّ ضربَت إمراته القُبه عل قبره سنه ثم رفعت فسمعوا صائحاً یقول الأهل وجدوا

ما فقدوا فاجابه الأخر بل یئسوا فانقلبوا

1. When al-Hasan bin al-Hasan bin ‘Ali passed away his wife made a dome (a tent) over his grave and after one year she removed it. It was heard that one person cried out: “Have they found that

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which they had lost”, another person replied: “No they have become disappointed and have given up.”

لعن الله الیهود والنَّصار إتخذوا قبور انبیائهم مسجداً قالت (عائشه) ولولا ذلک لابرزُوا قبره غیر أنَّی أخش أن یُتخذ مسجداً

2. May the curse of Allah be upon the Jews and Christians (for) considering the graves of their Prophets as mosques. She (Ayesha) said: “If it was not for this fear that the grave of the Holy Prophet (s) would become a mosque, the Muslims would have kept his grave open (and not put up a barrier around it).

3. Muslim has narrated in Sahih the same tradition with slight variation. As such we confine ourselves to narrating only one text. (1)

ألا وإن من کان قبلکم کانُ,ا یتَّخذون قبور أنبیائهم وصالِحیهم مساجد ألا فلا تتخذوا القُبور مساجد إنی أنهاکُم عن ذلک

Know that people before you took the graves of their Prophets and the pious people as mosques. Never take the graves as mosques, I forbid you from that. (2)

إن أُم حبیبه وأم سلمه ذکرتنا کنیسه رأیتها بالحبشه فیها تصاویر لرسول الله (صلی الله علیه وأله) فقال رسول الله

إن أولئک إذا کان فیهم الرجُل الصالح فما بنوا علی قبره مسجداً وصوَّروا فیه تلک الصُور أولئک شرار الخلق عند

الله یوم القیامه.

4. Umm Habiba and Umm Salama (Wives of the Holy Prophet) saw a prophet's picture in the country of Ethiopia (when they had travelled to that place along with a group). The Holy Prophet (s) said: They are such people that whenever a pious man dies amongst

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1- Sahih al-Bukhari, kitab al-jana’iz, vol. 2, page 111; Sunan al-Nasa’i, kitab al-jana’iz, vol. 2 p. 871
2- Sahih Muslim, vol. 2 p. 68.

them they construct a mosque over his grave and draw his picture on it. They are the worst of the people before God on the Day of Judgement. (1)

al-Nasa’i narrates from Ibn ‘Abbas in his Sunan under the chapter:

التغلیط فی اتخاذ السُرج علی القبور

as such:

لعن الرسول زائرات القبور والمُتخذین علیها المساجد والسُرج

5. The Holy Prophet (s) has cursed those ladies who visit the grave and those who take them as mosques and light a lamp over it.(2)

Ibn Taymiyya who is the leader of such beliefs and Muhammad ibn ’Abd al-Wahhab sharing his views interpret the aforesaid traditions in such a manner that building mosque over or near the grave of pious people is not permitted.

Thus Ibn-Taymiyya writes:

قال عُلمائنا لا یجوز بناء المسجد علی القبور

“Our scholars have said that it is never allowed to construct a mosque over the grave.” (3)

A Probe into The Context of Traditions


Now we have to pay attention to the contents of the traditions and derive its correct meanings. We should not remain negligent to this principle and it is as such: As one verse (ayah) can remove the ambiguity of another verse and help its correct interpretation, in the same way, one tradition too can remove the ambiguity and interpret another tradition.

The Wahhabis have stuck to the apparent meaning of one tradition and relied on that in such a manner that any kind of building of mosque over or near the graves of awliya is prohibited whereas if they would have collected all the traditions together, they

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1- Sahih Muslim, kitab al-masajid, vol. 2, p. 66.
2- Sunan al-Nasa’i, (ed. Mustafa Halabi), vol. 4, p. 77
3- Ibn Taymiyya, Ziyarat al-qubur, p. 106.

would have understood the objective of the Holy Prophet (s) in sending this curse.

The Wahhabis have closed the door of ijtihad and thus committed too many mistakes in understanding many of the traditions.

Superficially, it is possible that the authenticity of the traditions be reliable and its narrators trustworthy. Since the deliberation on the references of these traditions will lengthen our discussion, we shall limit ourselves to their contents only.

Our Views about This Matter

Awareness about the objective of the traditions is related to throwing light on the actions of the Jews and Christians near the graves of their respective Prophets because our Holy Prophet (s) has prevented us from the actions which they used to do. If the limits of their actions are clarified, then surely the limits of haram in Islam too would be clarified.

In the previous traditions there exist evidences which testified to the fact that they took the graves of their prophets as their qibla and refused from paying heed to the true qibla. More still, they were worshipping their prophets near their graves instead of worshipping Allah or at least were taking partners with God in their worship.

If the context of the traditions is this that we do not choose their graves to be their qibla and do not consider them as partners with God in worship, then we can never consider the construction of mosque over or near the graves of the pious and virtuous as haram where the visitors neither take their graves to

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be as their qibla nor do they worship them. Moreover, they worship the one God facing the qibla in their salat and the aim of constructing mosque near the graves of awliya Allah is only to seek tabarruk from their places.

What is important is that it should be proved that the aim of the tradition (that we should not take their graves as mosques) is the same as what we have just said. Here are the evidences:

1. The tradition of Sahih Muslim (4th tradition) elucidates the other traditions because when the two wives of the Holy Prophet (s) explained to him that they had seen a portrait of a Prophet in a Ethiopian church, the Holy Prophet (s) said:

“They are such people that whenever a pious person passes away they would construct a mosque over his grave and put up his portrait in that mosque.”(1)

The purpose of putting portraits near the graves of pious people was that people would worship them such that they considered the portrait and grave to be their qibla or still more, consider them as idols for worship and prostration. Worshipping of idols is nothing but placing the idol in front and respecting and falling into humiliation before them.

The probability which we are having in this tradition, keeping in mind the actions of the Christians who were and are always inclined towards human worship and are always worshipping portraits and statues, is very worthy of attention. With such strong probability we

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1- إن اولئک إذ کان فیهم الرجل الصالح فمات بنوا علی قبره مسجداُ وصورا فیه تلک الصور

can never rationalize with the help of this tradition, the prohibition of construction of mosque over or near the grave of awliya Allah which is devoid of such embellishments.

2. Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his al-Musnad and Imam Malik in his al-Muwatta’ narrate the tradition that the Holy Prophet (s) after prohibiting the matter of construction of mosque said:

“Allah, do not make my grave as an idol which is subject to worship” (1)

This sentence shows that they were behaving with the grave and the portrait which was next to it like one idol and taking them as their qibla and still more is worshipping them in the form of idol.

3. Pondering over the tradition of Ayesha (2nd tradition) will elucidate this fact to a greater extent. After narrating the tradition from the Holy Prophet (s) she says:

“If it was not for the fear that the grave of the Holy Prophet (s) would be taken as mosque the Muslims would have kept his grave open”. (They would have not constructed a barrier around the grave)

Now it should be seen that from what aspects the barrier and wall around the grave can become an obstacle? Undoubtedly the barrier will prevent the people from reciting salat over the grave, from worshipping the grave as one idol or at least from taking it as a qibla. However, performing salat near the grave without worshipping the grave or considering it as a qibla is absolutely possible, whether there exists a barrier

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1- Ibn Hanbal, al-Musnad, vol. 3, p. 248

or not and whether the grave is open or hidden. This is because for fourteen centuries the Muslims have been performing salat near the grave of the Holy Prophet (s) facing the qibla and have been worshipping Allah without the barrier preventing them from doing this action.

To sum up, the appendix of the hadith which is the text of the sayings of Ayesha clarifies the contents of the tradition because Umm al-mu’minin says: ‘In order that the grave of the Holy Prophet (s) would not be taken as mosque, they kept his grave hidden from the eyes of the people and constructed a barrier around it.’ Now it should be seen as to what extent this barrier can serve as an obstacle.

A barrier can prevent from two things:

1. The grave from taking the shape of idol and the people from standing in front of it and worshipping it since with the presence of a barrier, people are unable to see his grave to be able to treat it as an idol.

2. The grave from becoming a qibla since fixing it as a qibla is the outcome of seeing and we can never compare it with the ka’ba which is a qibla in all the situations whether it is seen or not. This is because ka’ba is a universal conventional qibla in all the conditions, making no difference if it is seen or not. However taking the grave of the Holy Prophet (s) as a qibla for

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the attendants in the mosque will be related to those who offer salat in his mosque and such a deviation is more achievable in case the grave is uncovered and seen; but when the grave is concealed the thought of prostrating over his grave even in the form of qibla is much less. Due to this, Umm al-mu’minin says that if no possibility existed for considering the grave as mosque (ie. prostrating over the grave) it would have been kept uncovered. Moreover, such a deviation takes place more when the grave is seen and much less when the grave is hidden.

3. Most of the commentators of the tradition offer the same interpretation as we have done.

Al-Qastallani in Irshad al-sari says: For keeping alive the memories of their past ones, the Jews and Christians were fixing the portraits of their virtous ones near their graves and worshipping their graves. However, their sons and successors, under the influence of whisperings of shaytan, started to worship the portraits near the graves. Thereafter he narrates from Tafsir al-Baydawi as follows:

لما کانت الیهود والنصاری یسجدون لقبور الأنبیاء تعظیماً لشأنهم ویجعلونها قبله یتوجهون فی الصلاه نحوها

واتخذوها اوثاناً ، مُنِع المسلمون فی مثل ذلک فاما من إتخذ مسجداً فی جوار صالح وقصد التبرک بالقُرب منه لا

للتعظیم ولا للتوجیه إلیه فلا یدخل فی الوعید المذکور.

“In view of the fact that the Jews and Christians were taking the graves of their Prophets as their qibla for the purpose of respect, and were paying attention towards them at

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the time of their prayers, their graves took the position of idols. For this reason the Muslims have been forbidden from this action. However, if someone constructs a mosque near the grave of a pious person for the purpose of seeking tabarruk and not for worshipping or paying attention towards them, he will never be included in this prohibition.” (1)

It is not only al-Qastallani who in his commentary on Sahih Bukhari interprets this tradition as such but also al-Sindi, the commentator of Sunan al-Nasa’i speaks with the same effect. We mention some of them here.

إتخذوا قبور انبیائهم مساجد أی قبله للصلاه ویُصلون إلیها أو بنوا مساجد علیها یُصلون فیها ولعلَّ وجه الکراهه

أنه قد یُفض إلی عباده نفس القبر.

“The outcome of his dispensation is this that construction over the grave is haram and occasionally makruh. If the grave is considered as qibla it is haram, since it may lead to the worship of the one buried, otherwise it is makruh.” (2)

Again he says:

یُحذر أمته أن یصنعوا بقبره ما صنع الیهود والنصاری بقبور أنبیائهم من إتخاذهم تلک القبور مساجد إما بالسجود

إلیها تعظیماً لها أو یجعلها قبله یتوجهون فی الصلاه إلیها.

“He (i.e. the Holy Prophet) prohibits his ummah from treating his grave in the same manner as what the Jews and the Christians have done to the graves of their Prophets. This is because, in the name of honor and respect, they were prostrating over the grave or considering it as their qibla.” (3)

Regarding this matter, the commentator of Sahih Muslim

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1- al-Qastallani, Irshad al-sari; and Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Fath al-bari, vol. 3, p. 208 approve this view. Prohibition is applicable under circumstances where the grave appears in the manner which was in vogue amongst the Jews and Christians. Otherwise there is no problem and objection.
2- Sunan al-Nasa’i, (al-Azhar edition), vol. 2, p. 21.
3- Sunan al-Nasa’i, (al-Azhar edition), vol. 2, p. 21.


“If the Holy Prophet (s) has prohibited us from considering his grave and other graves as a mosque, it is due to this reason that the Muslims should stop from exaggerating his honour which might lead to infidelity. Thus, when the Muslims were compelled to develop the mosque of the Holy Prophet (s) and place the chamber of the prophet’s wives and the chamber of Ayesha in the middle of the mosque, they fixed a round wall around the grave so that it could not be seen and the Muslims would not prostrate over it. The speech of Umm al-mu’minin too is a witness to the same:

لولا ذلک لأبرزوا قبره غیر أنه اخش أن یُتخذ مسجداً

If it was not for this fear that his grave (i.e. the grave of Holy Prophet) would become a mosque, the Muslims would have kept his grave open (and not put up a barrier around it).

Another commentator says: “The words of Ayesha are related to that period when the mosque was not developed nor extended. After extension and the admittance of her chamber inside the mosque, the chamber was made in the shape of a triangle so that nobody could perform salat over the grave. Thereafter he says that the Jews and Christians were worshipping their Prophets near their graves and were taking them as partners in their worship. With such evidence and perception of the tradition, one cannot understand any meaning other than this.”

We shall now overlook all these evidences

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and will approach this issue from another angle:

Firstly, the tradition is applicable to a situation where a mosque is constructed over the grave and this matter does not bear any relation to an adjacent place of the buried. In all the buried places, the mosque is placed near the grave of Imams (a’imma) and awliya in such a manner that the mosque is separated from the shrine. In other words, we are having one shrine and one mosque. The shrine is set aside for ziyarah and tawwasul and the mosque near that, for the worship of Allah. Therefore these adjacent places (shrines) are outside the scope and contents of the tradition assuming that the contents of the traditions are the same as what the Wahhabis say.

Basically speaking how can it be said that the construction of mosque over the grave is haram or makruh whereas Masjid al-Nabi (mosque of the Holy Prophet) is placed near his grave?

If the companions of the Holy Prophet (s) are like the stars which should be followed then why, in this case, we should not follow them. They extended the mosque in such a manner that the grave of the Holy Prophet (s) and the shaykhayn have been placed in the middle of the mosque.

If really, construction of mosque near the grave of Holy Imams was unlawful, then why the Muslims expanded the mosque of the Holy Prophet (s) from every angle; while the mosque during the time of the Holy Prophet (s)

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was placed on the eastern side of the grave, after the expansion, the western side of the grave too became the part of the mosque.

Is it that following the سلف i.e. predecessors and being سلفی which the Wahhabis are always proud of, means that we should follow them in one instance and disobey them in another?

From this description, it becomes clear that to what extent the sayings of Ibn al-Qayyim that in Islam, grave and mosque do not exist together are baseless and against the path of Muslims. Secondly, we do not derive any meaning from these traditions other than the Holy Prophet (s) prohibiting construction of mosque over or near the graves of the awliya. However, no argument exists to prove that this prohibition is a haram prohibition. Instead, it is possible that this prohibition is a makruh prohibition just as Bukhari has interpreted the traditions and discussed them under the title;

باب ، یکره من اتخاذ المساجد علی القبور

Chapter: It is aversion to build mosques on graves. (1)

Another testimony is that this matter has come along with the curse upon female visitors to the grave.(2) Surely visiting the graves is makruh and not haram for the ladies.

If the Holy Prophet (s) has cursed this group, this curse is no testimony of it being haram because in many of the traditions those committing makruh acts have been cursed too. In tradition, it is mentioned that those who travel alone or eat alone or sleep alone are cursed.

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1- Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 2, p. 111
2- Sunan al-Nasa’i, (Egyptian edition), vol. 3, p. 77.

In the end we remind that the construction of mosque over the grave of pious people was an act which was in vogue in the beginning of Islam.

Al-Samhudi says: “When the mother of Ali (‘a), Fatima bint Asad, passed away, the Holy Prophet (s) ordered that she be buried in a place where today stands a mosque named as ‘Grave of Fatima’. He meant that the place of grave of Fatima appear as a mosque in later time. Again he says: “Mus’ab bin ‘Umayr and ‘Abdulla bin Jahsh were buried under the mosque which was built over the grave of Hamza.”(1)

He further says that in the 2nd century there existed a mosque over the grave of Hamza.(2)

This mosque existed till the domination of the Wahhabis. They demolished this mosque on these unfounded reasons.

Visitation (Ziyarat) of Graves of Believers From The View-Point of The Holy Qur’an And Sunnah


The scholars of Islam with the support of verses of Qur’an and traditions have recommended ziyarat of grave especially the ziyarat of the Holy Prophet's grave and those of the pious people and consider this to be a virtue and honour. However, Wahhabis do not consider the principle of ziyarat to be haram (in apparent terms) but declare that the journey for ziyara towards the grave of the awliya Allah as unlawful and haram. After completion of the principle of ziyarat, we shall discuss the matter of journey for ziyarat of the graves of the awliya Allah

Ziyarat of graves has many ethical influences and is important for moral education and training

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1- Al-Samhudi, Wafa’ al-wafa’ fi akhbar dar al-Mustafa, (ed. Muhammad Muhyiuddin), vol. 3, p. 897.
2- Al-Samhudi, Wafa’ al-wafa’, (ed. Muhammad Muhyiuddin), vol. 3, p. 922 and 936.

that we shall mention here very briefly.

Looking at this silent valley (i.e. graveyard) which has blown off the light of life of everyone from the poor to the rich and the weak to the powerful and all of them being buried with only three pieces of cloth, purifies the mind and the heart and reduces greed and avarice of a person to a great extent. If a person possesses an eye which can see warnings he can there by learn a lesson and think within himself as such: A transient life of 60 or 70 years ending in getting concealed under the soil and then decaying and getting destroyed is not so much valuable that a person strives hard to achieve wealth and position and does injustice upon himself and the others.

Witnessing this silent valley which softens the most adamant heart and makes the most heavy ear to hear and gives brightness to the most poor eye-sight, causes a person to review his plans in life and ponder over the great responsibilities which he has before Allah and the people and controls his desires.

The Holy Prophet (s) referring to this point in a tradition says:

زوروا القُبور فإنها تذکرکم الأخره

“Visit the graves; for visiting them becomes the cause of remembering the next world.” (1)

While the authenticity and firmness of ziyarat of graves is so obvious that it is needless to produce proofs and reasoning to a great extent yet, we reflect here some of the proofs

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1- Tafsir al-Baydawi, vol. 3, p. 77.

for those who are doubtful.

Qur’an and ziyarat of Graves

Qur’an clearly instructs that the Holy Prophet (s) should not perform prayer over the dead body of the hypocrites and should not stand near their graves. It says:

ولا تُصلِّ علی أحد منهم مات أبداً ولا تقم علی قبره إنهم کفروا بالله ورسوله وماتوا وهُم فاسقون.

“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. (Tauba 19:84)”

In this verse, for destroying the character of the hypocrites and rebuking the members of this group, the God commands the Holy Prophet (s):

1. Not to perform salat over the dead body of anyone of them.

2. Not to stand over their graves; and this reality is presented with the sentence;

ولا تقُم علی قبره

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.

Now let us see what ولا تقم علی قبره means? Does it refer only to the standing at the time of burial which in the case of hypocrites is not permissible and in the case of the believers good and necessary? Or it also refers to standing at the time of burial and at other instances?

Some of the commentators think that the verse refers to the matter of standing at the time of burial but some others

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like al-Baydawi see the verse from a far angle and interpret it as such:

ولا تقُم علی قبره للدفن أو لزیاره

“Don’t stand on grave for burial or pilgrimage.”(1)

Paying attention to the contents of verse will show that it is having a wider meaning i.e. it concerns standing at the time of burial as well as stopping after the burial.

This is because two sentences form the gist of the subject matter of this verse and these two sentences comprises of:


لا تُصلِّ علی أحدٍ منهم مات أبداً

“And never offer prayer for anyone of them who dies…… (Tauba 19:84)”

The word of احدwhich has been placed in the course of prohibition is good for all individuals.

The word of ابدا is good for all times and the meaning of the sentence will be as such: “Do not perform salat for any one of the hypocrites at any time.”

By paying attention to these two words we can easily understand that the meaning of this particular sentence is not referring to recitation of salat over the dead body because reciting salat over the dead body takes place only once and that is before the burial and it cannot be repeated. If it specifically meant recitation of salat over the dead, then it was needless to bring the wordابدا . And to imagine that this word serves the purpose of expressing all individuals is completely irrelevant because the sentence لا تصل علی أحد is sufficient for such inclusion and purpose and there is

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1- Tafsir al-Baydawi, vol. 3, p. 77.

no need to mention it once again.

Moreover, the word ابدا in Arabic refers to time and not individuals such as:

ولا أن تنکحوا ازواجه مِن بعده أبداً

“Nor that you should marry his wives after him ever;… (Ahzab 33:53)”

Therefore the essence of the first sentence is: Never seek forgiveness and mercy for anyone of the hypocrites whether at the time of reciting salat or otherwise.

2. And now we will discuss the second sentence:

ولا تقُم علی قبره

The meaning of this sentence in connection with the previous sentence is as such:

ولا تقُم علی قبر أحدا منهم أبداً

Because the adverbs which are present in معطوف علیهare also applicable for معطوف.

Therefore it cannot be said that qiyam (standing) refers to the qiyam at the time of burial because it is presumed that qiyam at the time of burial for each one is not subject to repetition and the word ابدا too is commendable in this sentence which shows that this action is worthy of repetition.

The reply to the supposition that this word is applicable for all individuals was given in the previous sentence since with the presence of احد it is needless to express that once again.

By paying attention to these two points in the words لا تصلand لا تقم one can say:

God has prohibited the Holy Prophet (s) from seeking any kind of mercy for the hypocrites whether by means of reciting salat upon the dead body or merely by means of du'a and from

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any kind of standing over their graves whether at the time of burial or after the burial. This means that these two actions i.e. ‘seeking forgiveness’ and ‘standing’ is permissible and worthy for the grave of a believer in all the instances and one of such instances is standing for ziyarat and recitation of Qur’an for a believer who has been buried there for years.

Now we shall discuss the virtue and excellence of ziyarat of graves from the viewpoint of traditions.

Traditions and ziyarat of Graves

From the Islamic traditions which the authors of Sihah and Sunan have narrated, we derive the conclusion that the Holy Prophet (s) had prohibited, due to a temporary reason, the ziyarat of graves and later on allowed the people to make haste for ziyarat.

Perhaps the reason for prohibition was that their dead ones were predominantly polytheists and idol-worshippers and Islam had cut off their relation and affection with the world of polytheism. It is also possible that the reason for prohibition was something else and that is the newly converted Muslims were writing elegies and saying un-Islamic things over the graves of the dead polytheists. But after the expansion of Islam and the ‘faith’ entering into the hearts of people, this prohibition was lifted and the Holy Prophet (s) permitted the people to go for the ziyarat of graves because of the educative benefits, so that people should hasten to visit graves

The writers of Sunan and Sihah narrate as such:

کُنت نهیتکم عن زیاره القُبور فزُوروها فإنها تُزهِّد

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فی الدنیا وتُذکر الأخره

“I had prohibited you from ziyara of graves. From now on, go for ziyara because it will make you feel unattached towards this world and make you remember the hereafter.”(1)

It is on the same basis that the Holy Prophet (s) was visiting the grave of his mother and informing the people to visit the graves since ziyara is the source of remembering the hereafter. Here is the text of the tradition:

زار النبیّ قبر أمه فبکی وأبکی من حوله...إستأذنت ربی فی أن أزور قبرها فاذن لی فزوروا القبور فإنها تُذکرکم


“The Holy Prophet (s) visited the grave of his mother and cried near her grave and also made others around him to cry. Thereafter he said: I have taken permission from my Lord to visit the grave of my mother. You too should visit the graves because such a visit will remind you of death.”(2)

4. Ayesha says that the Holy Prophet (s) freely allowed the ziyarat of graves:

إن رسول الله رخَّص فی زیاره القبور

“The Prophet of God permitted the visit of graves.”(3)

5. Ayesha says: The Holy Prophet (s) taught me the manner of visiting the graves. Here is the text of the tradition:

فامرنی ربی أتی البقیع فاستغفر لهم قلت کیف أقول : یا رسول الله قال قولی: السلام علی أهل الدیار مِن المؤمنین

والمسلمین یرحم الله المُستقدمین منا والمستأخرین وإنا إن شاء الله بکم لاحقون.

“My Lord commanded me to come to Baqi’ and seek forgiveness for them. (Ayesha) says: I asked him how one should seek

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1- Sunan Ibn Maja, chapter of ما جاء فی زیاره القبور vol.1, p.114, (Indian edition); Sahih al-Tirmidhi chapter of جنائز vol. 3 p. 274 along with commentary of Ibn al-‘Arabi Maliki, (Lebanon edition); After narrating the tradition from Burayda, al-Tirmidhi says: حدیث بریده صحیح والغمل علی هذا عند اهل العلم لا یُرون بزیاره القبور باساً وهو قول ابن المبارک والشافعی وأحمد واسحاق. ‘The tradition of Burayda is correct and the people of knowledge act upon it. They do not put forward any obstacle for performing ziyara of graves and they are people such as Ibn al-Mubarak, al-Shafi’i, Ahmad and Ishaq.’ Meanwhile, you may refer to the following documents: Sahih Muslim, vol. 3. page 65 chapter of استثنذان النبی ربه غم وجل فی زیاره قبر امه Sahih Abu Dawud, vol.2. p. 195, book of جنائز chapter of زیاره القبور Sahih Muslim, vol. 4 p. 73, book ofجنائز chapter of زیاره القبور
2- Sahih Muslim, vol. 3, p. 65, chapter of استثنذان النبی ربه غم وجل فی زیاره قبر امه Sahih Ibn Maja, vol. 1, p. 114. According to the narrators of this tradition, the reason the Holy Prophet (s) took permission from Allah for visiting the grave of his mother was that his mother was a polytheist. Undoubtedly the mother of Holy Prophet (s) was a monotheist and a believer like her father, grandfather and ancestors. For this reason all the portion of this tradition is incompatible with the religious standards. Sunan Abi Dawud, vol. 2 p. 195. Book of جنائز Egyptian print along with the additional notes of Shaykh Ahmad Sa’d from the scholars of Azhar. Sahih Muslim, vol. 4 p. 74, book of جنائز chapter of زیاره قبر المشرک
3- Sahih Ibn Maja, vol. 1, p. 114.

forgiveness to which the Holy Prophet (s) replied: Say Peace (Salaam) be upon the people of this place from the believers and muslims, May God have mercy on those who have left and those who are to follow. We shall join you all very soon.”(1)

6. In another tradition, there are some sentences which the Holy Prophet (s) used when performing ziyarat of graves. It is as follows:

السلام علیکم دار قوم مؤمنین وإنا وإیاکم مُتواعدون غداً ومُواکلون وإنا إن شاء الله بکم لاحقون اللهم اغفر لأهل

بقیع الغرقد

“Peace be with you the groups of believers and we will be return to you and rely on you and certainly if God wishes, we will join you. O God, have mercy on all those (buried) in Baqi’ al-Garqad*”(2)

*Garqad was a tree in Baqi’ graveyard. And because of this tree, it was commonly called as the land of Garqad.

7. In another tradition, the text of ziyarat is narrated in a different way:

السلام علیکم أهل الدیار من المؤمنین والمسلمین وإنا إن شاء الله بکمک لاحقون أنتم لنا فرط ونحن لکم تبع اسئل

الله العافیه لنا ولکم.

“Peace be with you the groups of believers and Muslims, and certainty we will join you. You will exhilarate us and we will follow you. We ask welfare from you for ourselves and for yourself.”(3)

8. In the third tradition, the text is narrated still differently:

السلام علیکم دار قومٍ مؤمنین وإنا إن شاء الله بکم لاحقون

“Peace be with you the groups of believers and if God

p: 86

1- Sunan al-Nasa'i, vol. 3 p. 76; and Sahih Muslim, vol. 3, p. 64 chapter of القبر ما یقال عند دخول
2- Sunan al-Nasa'i, vol. 40, pp. 76- 77.
3- Sunan al-Nasa'i, vol. 40, pp. 76- 77.

wishes, we will join you.”(1)

From the tradition of Ayesha, we got knowledge that whenever the last part of night was approaching, the Holy Prophet (s) would go towards Baqi’ and say:

السلام علیکم دار قومٍ مؤمنین واتاکم ما توعدون ، غداً مؤجلون وإنا إن شاء الله بکم لاحقون اللهم اغفر لأهل بقیع


“Peace be with you! The groups of believers and what has been promised to you will be given to you, soon in future your destiny will reach you. And certainly, we will be the joiners to you soon. And if God wishes, will be with you. O God! Have mercy on all those (buried) in Baqi’ al-Garqad.” (2)

From another tradition we come to know that the Holy Prophet (s) used to hasten, along with a group of people for ziyarat of graves and teach them the manner of doing ziyarat:

کان رسول الله یُعلمُهم إذا خرجوا إلی المقابر فکان قائلُهم یقول: السلام علی أهل الدیار (یا) السلام علیکم أهل الدیار

من المؤمنین وإنا إن شاء الله لاحقون اسئل الله لنا ولکم العافیه.

“The Prophet (s) used to teach them that when they go out to graves they should say: Peace be with those who live in houses (graves). Peace be with you the groups of believers and Muslims. Certainly if God wishes, we will be joiners to you. We ask safety for ourselves and you.”(3)

Women and ziyarat of Graves

The only matter which is remaining is the matter of ziyara by women which in some of the traditions, the Holy Prophet (s) has prohibited them from

p: 87

1- Sunan Abu Dawud, vol. 2, p. 196.
2- Sahih Muslim, vol. 3, p. 63 chapter of القبر ما یقال عند دخول
3- Sahih Muslim, vol. 3, p. 110 chapter of القبر ما یقال عند دخول

doing so:

لعن رسول الله زوارات القبور

“The Prophet of God has cursed the women who go excessively for ziyarat.”(1)

But it should be known that utilizing this tradition for proving prohibition of ziyarat is not correct due to a number of reasons: firstly, most of the scholars think this prohibition to be in the makruh sense and the reason for it being makruh was because of the special conditions prevailing at that time. One of the commentators of tradition i.e., the writer of Miftah al-haja fi sharh Sahih Ibn Maja refers to that and says:

إختلفوا فی الکراهه هل هی کراهه تحریم أو تنزیه ذهب ألا کثر إلی الجواز إذا امنت بالفتنه.

“The scholars are having two opinions about the prohibition. That whether it is prohibited in the makruh sense or prohibited in the haram sense! But most of the scholars believe that women can go for ziyara if they are certain of remaining safe from any trouble.”(2)

Secondly, we have read in the previous traditions (kindly refer to tradition number 4) that Ayesha narrates from the Holy Prophet (s) that the latter declared free the ziyara of graves. If the women were excluded from this declaration then it is necessary to remind that this declaration is exclusively for men especially when the narrator is a lady and amongst the people to whom he (i.e. Prophet) was addressing was a lady and every addressee will naturally think that the order and declaration is directed to him or her.

Thirdly, some of the

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1- Sahih Ibn Maja, (1st Edition, Egypt), vol. 1, p. 478, book of جنائزchapter of ما جاء فی النهی عن زیاره النساء القبور
2- Hawashi of Sunan Ibn Maja, (Indian edition), vol. 1, p. 114.

traditions mention the manner in which the Holy Prophet (s) taught Ayesha to perform ziyara of graves(1) and Ayesha herself used to personally visit the graves after the Holy Prophet (s).

Fourthly, al-Tirmidhi narrates that when Ayesha's brother i.e. ‘Abd al-Rahman bin Abi Bakr died in Ethiopia, his body was taken to Mecca and buried there. When his sister Ayesha came to Mecca from Medina, she visited grave of her brother and by the side of his grave, recited two couplets in his sorrow and made speech (about him).(2)

The commentator of Sahih al-Tirmidhi Imam Hafiz Ibn al-‘Arabi [al-Maliki] (born in 435 AH and died in 543 AH) writes in his additional notes on Sahih.

“The fact is that the Holy Prophet (s) has permitted the men and the women to go for ziyara. If some of the traditions mention it to be makruh it is because of restlessness and impatience near the grave or because of not observing proper hijab.”

Fifthly, Bukhari narrates from Anas that the Holy Prophet (s) saw a woman crying over her beloved one and comforted her to have faith and be patient. The woman not recognising the Holy Prophet (s), said: “you release me from the calamity which has befallen upon me and not befallen upon you”. When it was said to her that he was the Holy Prophet (s) she left the grave and went to the house of the Holy Prophet (s) pleading pardon for not recognising him. The Holy Prophet (s) replied:

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1- Refer to tradition no. 5.
2- Sunan al-Tirmidhi, vol. 4, p. 275 book of جنائز chapter of ما جاء فی زیاره القبور

“Patience is advised at the time of misfortunes.”(1)

If ziyara was forbidden, the Holy Prophet (s) would have prohibited her from this action while he only asked her to adopt patience. Moreover, after the women visited the house of the Holy Prophet (s) he talked of patience and steadfastness at the time of misfortunes and did not say anything about ziyara of grave; otherwise he would have ordered her not to visit the grave of her beloved one anymore.

Sixthly, Fatima (‘a), daughter of the Holy Prophet (s), used to visit every Friday the grave of her uncle Hamza and recite prayer (salat) and cry sadly at his grave.(2)

Seventhly, al-Qurtubi says that the Holy Prophet (s) did not prohibit any lady going for ziyara. Instead he cursed those ladies who were going for ziyara very often as he uses the words زوارت القبور and زوار which is used for exaggeration.(3)

Perhaps the reason of cursing such a habit is that excessive ziyarat is the source of spoiling the rights of husband. If such factors are absent in the ziyara of one lady then there is no problem as such since remembering death is a matter which is necessary for both men and women.

Eighthly, if ziyara of grave is the source of getting unattached towards this world and a reduction of the greed of the person in helping him to remember the Hereafter, it also brings some benefit for the dead one i.e. for the one who is buried

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1- Sahih Bukhari, p. 100, book of جنائز chapter of زیاره القبور; Sunan Abi Dawud, vol. 2 p. 171.
2- al-Hakim, Mustadrak al-sahihayn, vol. 1, p. 377; al-Samhudi, Wafa’ al-wafa’, vo1. 2 p. 112.
3- Sunan Abu Dawud, vol. 2, p. 196 has narrated "زائرات"

under the soil and is helpless from doing anything. This is because the Islamic ziyara is usually accompanied by recitation of al-Fatiha and giving its reward to the deceased. In fact this is the best gift which an alive person can give to his or her beloved dead one.

Ibn Maja narrates in his Sahih that the Holy Prophet (s) said:

إقرءوا یس علی موتاکم

“Recite Sura Yasin upon your dead ones.”(1)

Therefore, there is no difference between man and woman that one should be permitted and the other should be forbidden, except that if the women are faced with some special situations that we previously discussed. Now, that the matter of ziyara of the graves of believers is clear for us and it is now necessary to refer to the valuable effects of ziyarat of the graves of the awliya Allah and the beloved ones of Allah.

Valuable Effects of Ziyarat of The Graves of Religious Personalities


The graves which attract the worshippers of God from all over the world and in particular the Muslims, are the graves of those who were possessing a divine mission in the society and had fulfilled their mission befittingly. These people consist of:

1. Prophets and religious leaders who carried the divine message upon their shoulders and guided the people by giving their lives, property and blood of their dear ones and bore the hardships and difficulties in this path.

2. Great scholars who, like a bright candle, have spread light to their surroundings and have laboured in research and

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1- Sahih Bukhari, p. 100, book of جنائز chapter of زیاره القبور; Sunan Abi Dawud, vol. 2 p. 171.

left behind a great treasure by the name of knowledge and wisdom in the service of mankind. They have acquainted men with the Divine Book, the Book of Nature and the language of creation and have laid the foundation of religious, human and natural sciences.

3. The group of people whose cup of patience had been overflowing from the social oppression, ever-increasing injustices and unfair discrimination. They are those who have put their life at stake against the oppressive rulers and washed with their blood the cruelties prevalent in the society. (the martyrs in the path of Islam). No revolution and reform in society will remain worthless and the significance of a holy revolution which wishes to bring down the palaces of the oppressors and suffocate them, is the holy blood of those combatants who wish to bring Justice, Equity, Liberty and freedom back to the society.

It is they to whom the people go for their ziyarat and shed tears near their graves or shrines and remember their valuable services and their holy sacrifices. By reciting some Suras from the Qur’an they soothe their souls and by reciting poems about their sacrifices, lofty human merits and exalted morals, they enliven their memories and their school of thought and invite the people to follow their path.

Ziyarat of graves of such group of people is one kind of thanksgiving and appreciation of their heroism and self-sacrifices. It is a warning to the contemporary generation that the reward of the person

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who selects the true path and gives his or her life while defending true beliefs and propagating freedom and liberty is that he or she will never be forgotten.

The passage of time which turns everything old and extinct not only does not make their memories to fade or disappear but causes the flames of love to glow more in the pure and sincere hearts. Thus how good it is that the contemporary generation and the future generation too follow their path since they have seen with their own eyes the rewards of the sacrifices of the men of truth. What was said till now has acquainted us with the importance of honouring the great religious personalities and the combatants in the path of truth and reality.

Therefore, based on this, we should always honour and respect these people in their death time just as it was done during their life time and should protect and safeguard their signs and memories. We should celebrate their birth-days and declare the day of their deaths to be the day of grief and sorrow. By holding big gatherings and delivering good and effective speeches, we should invite the people to become acquainted with their school of thought and protect and safeguard them in the future. We should respect the soil and place of their burial and prevent any kind of insult and segregation. This is because respecting their graves means respecting their school of thought just as insulting and degrading their grave is

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insulting their path and their conduct.

At present, anyone who steps into the cemetery of Baqi’ will see that the graves of the leaders of Islam and the dear companions of the Holy Prophet (s) who were self-sacrificing and striving in the propagation of religion in such a insulted state that it will give him a severe shock and grief and he will be astonished by attitude of the stone-hearted Wahhabis who reckon themselves to be the propagators of religion.

This is because on the one hand they respect the names of religious leaders and companions of the Holy Prophet (s) on the pulpits and on the other hand whenever it comes to the matter of their graves, they do not pay the least respect. They do not even care about the animals contaminating the surroundings of their graves.

By using the words of shirk (polytheism) and mushrik (polytheist) as an excuse, they strike down the respect and honour of the awliya and in this manner, restrain the people from honouring them in any possible manner (tongue, thoughts, expressions, actions etc) and to the extent that they consider all these actions (in consideration of the services of the awliya Allah) to be polytheism and label them as polytheists. They have such a severe enmity with the awliya Allah that any kind of respect manifested towards them will very much annoy them.

Now it is time to talk and discuss about ziyara of grave of the Holy Prophet (s) from Islamic

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proofs and reasoning’s.

Ziyarat of the Grave of the Holy Prophet (s)


We shall here bring forth the logical proofs from the Holy Qur’an and traditions and request the respected readers for more concentration in this section.

Evidence from Qur’an

The Holy Qur’an commands the sinners to approach the Holy Prophet (s) and request him to seek forgiveness for them from Allah since his request and plead is accepted by Allah. The Holy verse says:

وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذْ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ جَاءُوکَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا اللَّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُوا اللَّهَ تَوَّابًا رَحِیمًا

“And had they, when they were unjust to themselves, come to you and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Apostle had (also) asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Oft-returning, Merciful. (Nisa 4:64)”

If in case we were having only one such verse, we could say that the verse is related to the day when the Holy Prophet (s) was living amongst the people. However, due to a number of reasons, we can derive from this verse, one general conclusion that it is not specific to this worldly life.

They are, firstly the verses of Qur’an that consider a barzakhi life for the Prophet (s), awliya and some particular group of people and introduces them as the ones who can see and hear in that world. This segment of verses will be discussed under the topic of Tawassul (recourse) to the Holy souls.

Secondly, the Islamic traditions (hadiths) clearly bear testimony to the fact that the angels transmit the messages of the people to the Holy Prophet (s). This tradition has

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come in Sihah as such:

إن رسول الله قال ما مِن احدٍ یُسلٍّم علی إلا ردَّ الله علی روُحی حتی أرُد علیه السلام

The Holy Prophet (s) said: “There is no one who sends greetings upon me but that Allah makes his greetings reach me and I answer his greetings.”(1)


وقال رسول الله... وصلُّوا علی َّ فإن صلاتکم یبلُغنی حیث کُنتم

“And said the Prophet of God (s) …… ‘Send greetings upon me for your greetings reaches me’.” (2)

Thirdly, right from the beginning, the Islamic society has grasped a general and wider meaning from this verse (mentioned above) and acted accordingly without the demise of the Holy Prophet (s) becoming any obstacle in this regard. After the passing of the Holy Prophet (s), a group from the Arabs would come for ziyara of Holy Prophet (s) with clear and pure minds and recite this verse and request him to seek forgiveness on their behalf.

Taqi al-Din al-Subki and al-Samhudi have reported examples regarding it in their books Shifa' al-saqam and Wafa' al-wafa' respectively. We shall mention here some of them:

Sufyan bin 'Anbar, who is one of the learned scholars of the Shafi'i school, narrates from al-'Utabi - that latter was standing near the grave of the Holy Prophet (s) when an Arab came and said:

السلام علیک یا رسول الله سمعت الله یقول وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذْ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ جَاءُوکَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا اللَّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ

لَوَجَدُوا اللَّهَ تَوَّابًا رَحِیمً وقد جئتک مستغفراً من دنبی مستشفعاً بک إلی ربی.


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1- Sunan Abu Dawud, vol. 1 pages 470-471, book of Hajj chapter: زیاره القبور
2- Shaykh Mansur Ali Nasif, Al-Taj al-jami' li al-'usul fi ahadith al-Rasul, vol. 2, p. 189

be upon you Oh Prophet of God, I have heard Allah saying (in Quran) ‘And had they, when they were unjust to themselves, come to you and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Apostle had (also) asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Oft-returning, Merciful’ and indeed as I have come near you, I seek forgiveness for my sins and make you intercessor towards my Lord.”

Thereafter he cried and sought forgiveness and left the shrine of the Holy Prophet (s) after reciting this poem:

یا خیر من دُفنت بالقاع اعظمه فطاب من طیبهن القاع والاکم

نفسی الفداء بقبر انت ساکنه فیه العفاف وفیه الجود والکرم

Regarding this matter al-Samhudi narrates from Ali (‘a) that: “Three days had passed from the burial of the Holy Prophet (s). One Arab came and threw himself over the Prophet's grave and sprinkling the soil of the grave over his head said: O Prophet, you spoke to us and we listened. You received from Allah what we received from you. One sentence which has been revealed from God is the verse:

ولو أنهم إذا ظلموا

“And I have done injustice to myself and I have come to you to seek forgiveness for me.”

This action shows that the level and position which has been given to the Holy Prophet (s) by order of this verse is not limited to his life in this world but also applicable to his barzakhi life.

Basically, the Muslims do not consider the verses which are talking about the matter of

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respect of the Holy Prophet (s) to be restricted to his life-time. 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:

یَا أَیُّهَا الَّذِینَ آمَنُوا لَا تَرْفَعُوا أَصْوَاتَکُمْ فَوْقَ صَوْتِ النَّبِیِّ

“O you who believe! Do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet, and do not speak loud to him. (Hujurat 49:2)”

Nobody, not even the Umayyads have said that this verse and this respect is only related to the life-time of the Holy Prophet (s). At present, the Wahhabis themselves have written this verse facing the grave of the Holy Prophet (s) and put it over the wall and by this, they wish to say that we should lower our voice and not speak loudly.

Therefore, we can grasp a wider meaning from the verse and it is this, at present, the Muslims can approach the Holy Prophet (s) and request him to seek forgiveness from Allah for their sins. Ziyara of the Holy Prophet (s) of Islam has no purpose other than mentioned in this ayah and has no parable in this regard.

This verse proves two matters:

1. After the demise of the Holy Prophet (s), it is possible to approach him and request him to seek forgiveness from Allah on one's behalf. This matter will be discussed later under the topic of “Tawassul (recourse) with the Awliya Allah.”

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2. This verse is a testimony to the fact that ziyara of the Holy Prophet (s) is lawful since the reality of ziyara is nothing but the presence of the visitor near the visited one. If one is allowed to visit the grave of Holy Prophet (s) and request him to seek forgiveness from Allah then in fact we have performed two actions:

(i). We have requested him to seek forgiveness from Allah.

(ii). We have, by approaching him, conversed with him and ziyarat possesses no reality other than this and the subject matter of ziyara is mainly shaped with the same theme.

Therefore, this verse is a testimony to both these matters.

Another Evidence

The unanimity and consensus of the Muslims in various periods in a decree related to the commandments of Islam is the most obvious testimony upon its correctness.

Consensus over the ziyara of grave of the Holy Prophet (s) is one of the better evidences of this decree. By referring to the books of tradition, fiqh, morals and history - especially those related to Hajj rites - the reality of this matter will be clarified.

Allama al-'Amini has narrated from forty-two Islamic sources, the recommendation of ziyara of the shrine of the Holy Prophet (s). He has accurately narrated the texts and wordings of them in Al-Ghadir, volume 5, pages 106 to 129.

The books which we have referred to are the following:

A. Shifa' al-saqam fi ziyara khayr al-'anam written by Taqi al-Din al-Subki al-Shafi'i (died in 756). He has

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narrated in this book a part of the texts and wordings of the scholars.

B. Wafa' al-Wafa' written by al-Samhudi (died in 911). He has narrated in this book the texts and wordings of the scholars which all indicate emphatic recommendation.

C. Al-Fiqh 'ala al-madhahib al-arba'a which has been written by four men from the four schools of thought and exposes the thoughts of the four Imams of Ahl-al Sunnah whom they follow. They have written as such:

زیاره قبر النبی أفضل المندوبات ورد فیها احادیث

The ziyarat of the grave of the Prophet (s) is the principal recommendation as repeatedly found in traditions.

Now it's time to reflect upon a section of the traditions which have been narrated by Islamic muhaddithun (traditionists).

Traditions Regarding Paying Homage to the Holy Prophet (s)


The Islamic traditions (hadiths) about ziyara of the Holy Prophet (s) are so many from the Sunni muhaddithun that we don’t feel need to pay attention to their references. The great Sunni scholars from each of the sects have narrated these in their books and it shows that ziyara of the shrine of the Holy Prophet (s) has been one of their indisputable matters. Now we shall narrate only a few of them as mentioning all of the traditions will lengthen our discussion. First Tradition:

عن عبد الله بن عمر: من زار قبری وجبت له شفاعتی

“Anyone who visits my grave will never be deprived of my intercession.”

This tradition has come down in the book of Al-Fiqh 'ala al-madhahib al-arba'a in volume l page 590 and the Sunni scholars of the four schools of

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thought have given fatwa

(verdict) based on them. For reference consult the book of Wafa' al-wafa' vol. 4 page 1336.

Certainly, such a tradition which the scholars have recorded right from the middle of the 2nd century till now, cannot be said to be unfounded. For completion of the matter, Taqi al-Din Ali bin Abdl al-Kafi al-Subki (d. 756 AH) has discussed and investigated this matter and isnad of the traditions in his valuable book Shifa' al-saqam on pages 3 to 11 and has proved the verity and accuracy of the methods of this tradition.

Second Tradition

من جاءنی زائراً (ولا تحمله) إلا زیارتی کان حقاً علییَّ أن أکون شفیعاً یوم القیامه

“Anyone who comes to me with the intention of paying homage to me will be having a right upon me to intercede for him on the Day of Judgement”.

Sixteen memorizers (of Qur’an) and muhaddithun have brought this tradition in their books and Taqi al-Din al-Subki (d. 756 AH) has discussed the narrators and isnad of the traditions in his book Shifa' al-saqam page no.13. Also refer to the book Wafa' al-wafa' vo1. 4, page 1340.

Third Tradition

من حجّ فزار قبری بعد وفاتی کأن کمن زارنی فی حیاتی

“Anyone who visits the House of Allah and then visits my grave is like one who has visited me during my life-time.”

This tradition has been recorded by twenty-five of the renowned muhaddithun and huffaz in their books and Taqi al-Din al-Subki has spoken extensively about the references of this tradition in his book Shifa' al-saqam pages

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12 to 16. Also refer to Wafa' al-wafa' volume 4 page 1340.

Fourth Tradition

من حجَّ البیت ولم یزُرنی فقد جفانی

“Anyone who visits the House of Allah and does not visit me has done injustice upon me.”

This tradition has been narrated by nine men from the shuyukh and memorizers of tradition. Also refer to Wafa' al-wafa' volume 4 page 1342.

Fifth Tradition

من زار قبری (أو من زارتی) کنت له شفیعاً

“I will become an intercessor for anyone who pays homage to me by coming to my shrine.”

This tradition has been narrated by thirteen muhaddithun and huffaz . Refer to Wafa' al-wafa' volume 4 page 1347.

Sixth Tradition

من زارنی بعد موتی فکأنما زارتی فی حیاتی

“Anyone who visits me after my demise is like one who has visited me during my lifetime.”

These are the examples from various traditions in which the Holy Prophet (s) has invited the people for his ziyara and the number of such traditions according to research of al-Ghadir amounts to twenty-two.

Al-Samhudi has collected seventeen traditions in his book Wafa' al-wafa' volume 4 pages 1336-1348 and has discussed their references in detail.

If the Holy Prophet (s) has invited the people for his ziyara, it is because of a series of material and spiritual benefits which are hidden in the ziyarat of great Islamic personalities.

By paying homage to the grave of the Holy Prophet (s), people become acquainted with the propagation of religion of Islam and receive the correct traditions and knowledge and spread them around the

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Reasonings of Wahhabis about Prohibition of Journey towards Ziyarat of Graves

Apparently, the Wahhabis permit the ziyara of the Holy Prophet (s) but do not consider the journey for ziyara of graves (of others) to be permissible.

Muhammad ibn ’Abd al-Wahhab writes in the second treatise in al-Rasa'il al-hadiyya al-saniyya(1) as follows:

تُسنُّ زیاره النبیّ إلا أنه لا یُشد الرَّحل إلا لزیاره المسجد والصلاه فیه

“Ziyara of the Holy Prophet (s) is mustahab (recommended) but journey specifically undertaken for ziyara of mosques and reciting prayer there in is not allowed.”

Their main reasoning for ziyara being forbidden is the following tradition which has been narrated in the Sihah. The narrator of this tradition is Abu Hurayra who says that the Holy Prophet (s) said:

لا تُشد الرحال إلا إلی ثلاثه مساجد مسجدی هذا ومسجد الحرام ومسجد الأقصی

“The load of journey cannot be fastened except for (journey towards) three mosques - my own Mosque, Masjid al-Haram and Masjid al-'Aqsa.”

The text of this tradition is narrated in some other way too and that is:

إنما یُسافر إلی ثلاثه مساجد ، مسجد الکعبه ومسجدی ومسجد ایلیا

Still this text has been narrated in a third way:

تُشد الرحال إلی ثلاثه مساجد


That the tradition has come in the books of Sihah is not doubtful and we never dispute that its narrator is Abu Hurayra. However what is important is to understand the context of the tradition.

Let us suppose the text of the tradition is as such:

لا تُشد الرحال إلا ثلاثه مساجد

Indisputably the word of إلاis an exception and requires مستثنی

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1- It is the best book which has been written by any of the Sunni writers against the fatwa (verdict) of Ibn Taymiyya regarding the prohibition of journey for ziyara of the Holy Prophet's grave.
2- These three texts have been narrated by Muslim in his Sahih vol. 4 page 126 book of Hajj, chapter of لا تشد الرحال. It can also be found in Sunan Abu Dawud, vol. 1 page 469, book of Hajj and Sunan al-Nasa'i with Sharh of al-Suyuti vol. 2 pages 37-38.

منه (that from which the exception is made) and before referring to the evidences we can presume the مستثن منه in two ways:

لا تُشد إلی مسجد من المساجد إلا ثلاثه مساجد

لا تشد إلی مکان من الأمکنه إلا إلی ثلاثه مساجد

Understanding the context of the tradition depends on selecting one of the two assumptions.

If we assume the context of the tradition to be the first one, then in such a case it would mean that no luggage for journey will be fastened towards any mosque except these three mosques and it does not mean that (شد الرحال) is not permissible for any place even if it is not a mosque.

Anyone who fastens the luggage of journey for ziyara of the Holy Prophet (s), Imams and virtuous men will never be included in the prohibition of this tradition since the topic of discussion is journey (only) towards mosque and amongst all the mosques these three mosques have been excluded. But going to journey for ziyara of shrines which is out of our topic of discussion is not included in this prohibition.

If we assume the context of the tradition to be the second case, it would mean that except for the journey towards these three places, all spiritual journeys are prohibited, whether the journey is for ziyara of mosque or for ziyarat of other places.

However by paying attention to the decisive evidences it will become clear that the context of the tradition is the same as the first

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Firstly the مستثنی (the thing excepted) is of the three mosques; in as much as the exception is a linked exception certainly مستثنی منه will be related to the mosque and not place. (1)

Secondly, if the aim is prohibition of all the spiritual journeys, it will not be a correct restriction because, in the Hajj ceremonies people do (شد الرحال) and fasten their luggage for Arafat, Mash'ar and Mina. If religious journey (other than to these three places) is not allowed, then why it has been permitted for these three places?

Thirdly, journeys undertaken for jihad in the path of Allah, seeking knowledge, establishing bonds of relationship or visiting parents are such journeys which have been emphasised in Qur’an and traditions. Qur’an says:

فَلَوْلَا نَفَرَ مِنْ کُلِّ فِرْقَهٍ مِنْهُمْ طَائِفَهٌ لِیَتَفَقَّهُوا فِی الدِّینِ وَلِیُنْذِرُوا قَوْمَهُمْ إِذَا رَجَعُوا إِلَیْهِمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ یَحْذَرُونَ

“Why should not then a company from every party from among them go forth that they may apply themselves obtain understanding in religion, and that they may warn their people when they come back to them that they may be cautious? (Tawba 19:122)”

Therefore great research scholars have interpreted the tradition in the way which we have mentioned.

Al-Gazzali in his book Ihya' 'ulum al-din says:

“The second type of journey is to go on journey for worship like journey for jihad, hajj, ziyara of the grave of Holy Prophet (s), his companions and the awliya.

Anyone whose ziyara is the source of tabarruk during life-time will also be the same

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1- If someone says: “ما جائنی الأزید” , then we have to say that مستثنی منه is the word for human-beings and its like for example tribe etc. and it is not referring to a more comprehensive meaning by the name of “things” and “existence” which is either human-beings or other things.

during his death-time and شد رحال for these motives is no problem and is not contradictory to the tradition which prohibits شد رحال (other than the three mosques).

This is because the matter under discussion is about the mosques and since other mosques are all equal as far as superiority is concerned it is said that journey towards these mosques are not permitted. However, if we overlook the matter of mosques, the ziyarat of Prophets and awliya are having a great virtue although they possess ranks and grades.”

Therefore what is prohibited is شد رحال towards the mosques (other than the three mosques) and not “شد رحال” for ziyarat and or other spiritual works. (1)

Here we don’t have an alternative but to mention that when the Holy Prophet (s) says that no luggage can be fastened for other than the three mosques, it does not mean شد رحال is forbidden (haram). Instead it means that it is not having any merit that a person fastens his luggage towards them and takes the trouble of visiting them as all the mosques (other than the three mosques) are not having any difference as far as their superiority is concerned. The general mosque, the district mosque and the community mosque are all having equal rewards; it is needless that with the presence of the general mosque in a near locality a person fastens his luggage for the general mosque situated in another far-away locality. But it does not mean that if he does

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1- Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 2 page 76. Sahih Muslim (with Sharh of al-Nawawi) vol. 9 pages 169-171; Sunan al-Nasa'i (with Sharh of al-Suyuti) vol. 2 page 37.

so, his action will be haram and his journey will be a sinful one.

The proof of this matter is what the writers of Sihah and Sunans narrate that the Holy Prophet (s) and his companions would visit Masjid Quba on Saturdays and recite prayer at that place. Here is the text of Sahih Bukhari:

إن النبیّ کان یأتی مسجد قباء کل سبت ماشیاً وراکباً وإن ابن عمر کان یفعل کذلک

“The Holy Prophet (s) used to go for ziyara of Masjid Quba on every Saturday either on foot or on a mount. The son of ‘Umar too would do the same.” (1)

Fundamentally, how can travelling distances for performing salat for Allah in one of the divine mosques without the least taint of sham be considered as haram and unlawful? While establishing prayers in mosque is mustahab (recommended) its preliminary steps too, as a rule, will take the same colour.

Performance of Prayer And Supplication Near Graves Of The Holy Personalities


Among the matters which has been discussed and debated in the books of Wahhabis is the issue of performing prayer and recitation of du'a near the graves of the holy personalities and the matter of lighting candles over their graves.

The founder of this school of thought says in the treatise of Ziyarat al-qubur as such:

لم یذکر أحد من أئمه السلف أن الصلاه عند القبور وی مشاهدها مستحبه ولا أن الصلاه والدعاء هُناک افضل بل

إتفقوا کلهم علی أن الصلاه فی المساجد والبُیوت افضل منها عند قبور الأولیاء والصالحین

“No one from the past leaders has said that salat near

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1- Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 2 page 76. Sahih Muslim (with Sharh of al-Nawawi) vol. 9 pages 169-171; Sunan al-Nasa'i (with Sharh of al-Suyuti) vol. 2 page 37.

the graves is mustahab (recommended) or that salat and du'a at these places are more superior to other places. Instead all of them are of the same view that salat in mosques and houses are more useful than reciting them near the graves of the awliya and virtous people.”(1)

Moreover, in a reply attributed to the scholars of Medina we read as such:

أما التوجه إلی حجره النبی (صلی الله علیه وأله) عند الدعاء فالاولی منعه کما هو معروف من معتبرات کُتب

المذاهب ولأن افضل الجهات ، جهه القبله.

“At the time of supplication, it is better to stop from concentrating over the grave of the Holy Prophet (s) and what is well-known in the reliable books is its prohibition. Moreover the best direction is the direction of qibla.”

This matter, over the passage of time has reached the level of shirk (polytheism) from the level of prohibition and at present they consider such an action to be shirk and its performer a mushrik (polytheist).

We remind you that anyone who performs salat for and worships the one in the grave or takes his grave as a qibla will undoubtedly be called a mushrik.

But no Muslim from anywhere in the world performs such an action near the grave of the Holy Prophet (s) and the awliya. They neither worship them nor take their graves as qibla.

Therefore the idea of shirk is no more than an imagination. The motive of Muslims in performing salat and du'a near the graves of the

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1- Ziyarat al-qubur, page 159-160.

awliya is the very intention of tabarruk to the place where the beloved one of Allah has been buried.

They imagine that since such a place beholds a special dignity due to the burial of the beloved one of Allah, their actions will consequently be having a great reward.

Now it is necessary to discuss whether a place enjoys sanctification due to the burial of some virtuous and pious person or not?

If such a judgment is proved through the Qur’an and sunnah, then naturally performing salat and du'a near the graves of the divine leaders will be considered as commendable acts. And, even in other case, we cannot declare it to be prohibited and haram. Instead, like all the other places, performing salat and reciting du'a in those places too will be permitted and lawful even though it may not be considered admirable.

In this section we shall now focus our discussion on whether the burial places and graves of the Prophets and awliya are possessing special superiority and dignity or not and whether any proof exists in the Qur’an and sunnah about this matter or not?

This reality can be known by paying attention to the following verses:

1. About the grave of ‘Ashaab-e-Ka'ahf’ the group of monotheist gave their views as such:

لنتخذن علیهم مسجداً

“……For we will certainly raise a masjid over them. (Kahf 18:21)”

Their aim in considering the graves as mosques was nothing but to perform their religious obligations or, so to speak, their prayer and

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du'a over there.(1) They imagined that this place possessed a special dignity keeping in mind the fact that it contained the dead bodies of the beloved servants of Allah. They thought of seeking tabarruk from the superiority of that place and hence a greater reward.

Qur’an narrates this matter from the group of monotheists and does not say anything more. If this action was unlawful, vain and useless, then Qur’an would have never remained silent. It would have certainly found fault with it and not kept silent which is naturally the sign of approval.

2. The Holy Qur’an commands the people visiting the House of Allah to recite salat at Maqam Ibrahim i. e. the place where Ibrahim (‘a) was standing.

Thus it says:

وَاتَّخِذُوا مِنْ مَقَامِ إِبْرَاهِیمَ مُصَلًّی

“And appoint for yourselves a place of prayer on the standing-place of Ibrahim. (Baqarah 2:125)”

If you place this verse before anyone they will not understand anything from it except that this place has achieved superiority and dignity due to the standing of Ibrahim (‘a) over this spot and perhaps his worshipping of Allah in that place. Due to the auspiciousness and dignity this spot possesses, the Holy Qur’an orders the Muslims to recite salat at that spot and seek ‘tabarruk’.

When the Qiyam (standing) of Ibrahim (‘a) in one place gives holiness and dignity to such a place then, does not the burial of the bodies of martyrs and virtuous people become the source of dignity and excellence and does not prayers

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1- In interpreting the afore-said tradition, al-Zamakhshari in al-Kashshaf says: یصلی فیه المسلمون ویتبرکون بمکانهم About this verse Nayshaburi writes in his Tafsir as such: یصلی فیه المسلمون ویتبرکون بمکانهم

in such a place possess a greater value and dua's get better answered?

Is it true that this verse has been revealed only in the case of Ibrahim and we cannot derive a general judgement from it!?

Dawaniqi entered into a debate with Imam Malik (the founder of Maleki School of thought) in the mosque of the Holy Prophet (s) and said: “Should we stand facing the qibla at the time of du'a or should we face the grave of the Holy Prophet (s)?” Malik replied: “Why should you turn away from the Holy Prophet (s) while he is your channel and your father, i.e. Adam's ('a) channel?! Instead turn towards the grave of the Holy Prophet (s) and take him as your intercessor and request him to intercede on your behalf.(1)

This conversation and discussion shows that du'a near the grave of the Holy Prophet (s) was having no problem and difficulty and the question of Mansur to the leader of Medina was about the preference of one (act) over the other and Imam Malik replied that paying attention to the grave is like paying attention to the qibla.

3. Reference to the incident of mi'raj will make this fact more evident since it has come in the traditions of mi'raj that the Holy Prophet (s) recited salat in places like Taiyyaba, Mount Sinai and Bethlehem.

Jibra'eel came to him and said: ‘O Prophet! do you know the place where you recited salat? You have performed your prayer at

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1- Wafa' al-wafa' fi akhbar dar al-Mustafa, volume 4, page 1376.

the birth place of 'Isa’ (Jesus).(1)

From this tradition we come to know that performing salat in places that have been in contact with the body of a Prophet have great significance and tabarruk to this particular place was because of Hazrat Isa's birth in that place and nothing else.

4. ‘Hajar’ and ‘Ismail’, due to their patience in the path of Allah and their forbearance for being away from home, reached to such position that the places where they used to walk became the places of worship (i.e. the places between Safa and Marwa)(2)

The following is the saying of the student of Ibn Taymiyya.

“If really the places of strides of these two persons who, because of their patience and forbearance in the path of Allah became so much Holy that the Muslims have been ordered to worship God in these places, then why the grave of the Holy Prophet (s) who has exhibited the greatest of patience and steadfastness on the path of rectifying the society cannot be considered as Holy and sacred and why salat and du'a cannot be recited near such a place?”

5. If truly performing salat near the grave is unlawful, then how Umm al-Mu'minin (Ayesha) during her remaining life time performed salat and worshipped in her chamber where the Holy Prophet (s) was buried.

The meaning of the Holy Prophet's tradition: (“God has cursed the Jews and the Christians for considering the graves of their Prophets as mosques”(3)) which the Islamic traditionists

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1- al-Suyuti, al-Kasa'is al-kubra, vol. 1, page 154.
2- Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya, Jala' al-'afham fi salat wa al-salam 'ala khayr al-'anam, page 228.
3- Sunan al-Nasa'i, vol. 4 page 96 (Beirut edition). لعن الله الیهود والنصار اتخذوا قبور انبیائهم مساجد

narrate and which the Wahhabis utilise for proving the prohibition of salat near the graves of awliya is because they were prostrating over the grave of their Prophets or that they were taking their graves as qibla both of which were unlawful. If the meaning of the tradition is what they say then why Ayesha, narrator of the tradition, performed salat in her chamber for approximately fifty years.

6. If the burial place of the Holy Prophet (s) is not having any special significance, then why the two Shaykhs insisted that they should be buried in that place?

Why al-Hasan ibn 'Ali (‘a) mentioned in his will that his Holy body should be buried near his great grandfather and if not possible due to his enemies, he should be buried in the cemetery of Baqi!?

And what relation this tradition has with the actions of the Muslims who perform salat for the sake of God, facing the qibla near the grave of the Holy Prophet (s) and their motive is only to derive virtue from that place!

The daughter of the Holy Prophet (s) whose happiness as per the decree of traditions of Sihah is the happiness of her God and Messenger and her anger is the anger of her God and Messenger used to visit every Friday the grave of her Uncle Hamza and perform salat and mourn in that place. Here is the text of history:

کانت فاطمه رضی الله عنها تزور عمَها حمزه کل جُمعه فتُصلی وتبکی

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(1)These reasons jointly show us the path of the Muslims who were always reciting salat and supplications in places where the beloved ones of Allah and the self-sacrificers on the path of truth had been buried and gives the message that salat and supplication in such places enjoy more honour and superiority and the motive is only to seek tabarruk from that sacred place.

* * *

Let us suppose that there is no proof from Qur’an and traditions that such a place possesses distinction and performing salat and du'a in such a place is honourable. But why prayer in such a place should be considered as prohibited? Why such a place should not be included in the general principles of Islam which considers all the places on earth to be the places of worshipping God(2) so that the Muslims are able to perform prayer near the graves of the beloved ones of Allah!?

Previously, we had mentioned to you about the motive of the traditions which says that the Jews and Christians have taken the graves of their Prophets as mosques and never such a tradition includes those who perform salat and du'a facing the qibla for the sake of God.

The matter of lighting candles and so on over the graves of the beloved ones of God which the Wahhabis strictly prohibit is not an important matter since their references is the same tradition of Sunan al-Nasa'i who narrates from Ibn Abbas that the Holy Prophet (s) has cursed

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1- Sunan al-Bayhaqi, vol. 4 page 78; al-Hakim al-Naysaburi, al-Mustadrak, vo1. 1, page 377.
2- جعلت لی الأرض مسجداً وطهورا. Ibn Hanbal, al-Musnad, vol. 2 page 222.

the women visiting the graves and those who turn the graves into mosques and light the candles.(1) This tradition is applicable in the event that lighting candles etc. is having no benefits other than wastage of money or imitating some countries of the world.

However if the aim of lighting candle etc. is to recite Qur’an and du'a or perform salat and other legal things, then certainly it will not create any problem. Instead lighting candles etc. in such places and that too for such holy purposes will be the proof to:

تعاونُوا علی البرِّ والتقوی

“…….And help one another in goodness and piety. (Maida 5:2)”

Under these circumstances why should it be considered haram and forbidden?

Incidentally a group of commentators of traditions have specified the same fact,

Al-Sindi mentions in the margins of Sunan al-Nasa'i:

والنهی عنه لإنه تضییع مالٍ بلا نفع

“Prohibition for lighting of candles was only because such an action leads to wastage of wealth.” (2)

Tawassul (Recourse) To The Awliya Allah

Tawassul to the beloved ones of Allah is a matter which is in vogue amongst the Muslims of the world and from the day the Islamic Shariat was conveyed through the Holy Prophet (s) its legality was also declared by the way of Islamic traditions.

It was only in the 8th century A.H. that tawassul was rejected by Ibn Taymiyya and two centuries later Muhammad ibn ’Abd al-Wahhab intensified this objection. Tavassul was introduced to be unlawful and heresy and occasionally was labelled as worshipping the awliya And it is needless

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1- لعن رسول الله زائرات القبور والمتخذین علیها المساجد والسُرج (Sunan al-Nasa'i, vol. 3 page 77 (Egyptian edition) and vol. 4 page 95 (Beirut edition) Sharh al-jami' al-saghir, vol. 2 page 198.
2- Sunan al-Nasa’i, vol. 3 page 77 (Egyptian edition) and vol. 4 page 95 (Beirut edition). Also refer to Sharh al-jami' al-saghir, vol. 2 page 198.

to mention that worshipping other than God amounts to polytheism and is forbidden.

We shall later on have a separate discussion regarding the meaning of worship ('ibada) and we shall remind you that tawassul to the divine leaders on the one hand will be counted as worship and polytheism and on the other hand will be considered as desirable and mustahab having no sign of worship. However, we shall not discuss them here. What is important to know is that tawassul to the awliya Allah is done in two ways:

1. Tawassul to themselves. For example we say:

اللهم إنی أتوسل إلیک بنبیک محمد (صلی الله علیه وأله) ان تقی حاجتی

“O Lord I take recourse to your Messenger Muhammad (s) in order that you fulfil my wish.”

2. Tawassul to their position and reverence before Allah and their rights.

Like we say:

اللهم إنی أتوسل إلیک بجاه محمد (صلی الله علیه وأله) وحُرمته وحقِّه ان تقضی حاجتی

“O Lord I take their position and their respect which they have before Thee as the means for my need to be fulfilled by Thee.”

From the viewpoint of the Wahhabis, both these types are declared to be forbidden whereas the Islamic traditions and the practice of the Muslims bear witness contrary to the views of the Wahhabis and recommend tawassul of both these types.

At first, we shall mention the Islamic traditions one by one and then state the practice of the Muslims. By paying attention to both these reasonings, the matter of heresy and

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unlawfulness will automatically cease to exist.

But, whether tawassul to divine leaders amounts to their worship or not will be discussed in the section of ‘meaning of worship’ and that section will be the most insightful part of our discussion.



There are many traditions mentioned in the traditional and historical books which bear testimony to the correctness and verity of the matter of tawassul to the divine leaders themselves and their position. Here, we mention a part of those traditions:

First Tradition - Tradition of ‘Uthman ibn Hunayf

إن رجلاً ضریراً اتی إلی النبی (صلی الله علیه وأله) فقال ادعُ الله ان یُعافینی فقال إن شئت دعوت وإن شئت صبرت

وهو خیر قال فادعه ، فامره أن یتوضأ فیُحسن وضوه ویُصلّی رکعتین ویدعو بهذا الدعاء: اللهم إنی أسالک ،

وأتوجه بک إلی ربی فی حاجتی لتقضی ، اللهم شفعه فی. قال ابن حنیف فوالله ما تفرقا وطال بنا الحدیث حتی دخل

علینا کان لم یکُن به ضُرّ.

“A blind person approached the Holy Prophet (s) and said: ‘Request Allah to cure me.’ The Holy Prophet (s) replied: ‘If you wish so I will pray for you but be patient for that is much better.’ The blind man asked the Holy Prophet (s) to pray for him. The Holy Prophet (s) ordered him to take proper Wuzu and then recite two Raka't (units) of salat and this ‘Dua’: O’ Lord! I request from Thee; I pay attention to Thee through (the channel) of your prophet Muhammad, Your blessed prophet.

O Muhammad, I turn to my Lord

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for the fulfilment of my need through you so that my need is answered.

O Lord, accept his intercession for me….”

A Word about the Reference of this Tradition

The Authenticity And Verity Of The Reference Needs No Word From Us. Even The Leader Of The Wahhabis I.E. Ibn Taymiyya Has Declared Its Reference To Be Correct And Has Said That By Abu Ja'far Whose Name Has Come In The Sanad Of The Tradition Is Mean Abu Ja'far Al-Khutami And He Is A Reliable Man.(1)

Al-Rifa'i, a contemporary Wahhabi writer who strives to cast down the credibility of the traditions on tawassul, says with regard to this tradition as such:

لا شک إن هذا الحدیث صحیح ومشهور وقد ثبت فیه بلا شک

“Undoubtedly this tradition is correct and well-known."(2)

In the book of al-Tawassul, Rafa'ee says: “This tradition has been mentioned by al-Nasa'i, al-Bayhaqi, al-Tabarani, al-Tirmidhi and al-Hakim in his al-Mustadrak and two recent writers have inserted the sentence اللهم شفعنی فیه instead of وشفعه فیه (3)

Zayni Dahlan writes in Khulasat al-kalam that: “This tradition has been narrated - with reliable chains of narration - by al-Bukhari, Ibn Maja, al-Hakim in his al-Mustadrak and Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti in his al-Jami.”

The writer narrates this tradition from the following references:

1. Sunan Ibn Maja, vol 1 page 441 from the publications of Dar Ihya al-kutub al-'arabiyya, (ed. by Muhammad Fu'ad 'Abd al-Baqi), tradition no. 1385.

Ibn Maja narrates from Abu Ishaq:

هذا حدیث صحیح

‘This tradition is correct.’

Thereafter he adds:

"al-Tirmidhi has narrated this tradition in the book of

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1- In al-Musnad of Ahmad, Abu Ja'far has come with the word of Khutami although in Sunan of Ibn Maja Abu Ja'far has come independently.
2- al-Tawassul ila haqiqat al-tawassul, page 158.
3- Same reference.

Abwaab-ul-Adeeya and said

هذا حدیث حق صحیح غریب

‘This tradition is truly correct and Gharib.’

2. Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal vol. 4 page 138. He has narrated this tradition in three ways from the Musnad of ‘Uthman ibn Hunayf printed from al-Maktab al-Islami, Mu'assassa Dar Sadir, Beirut.

3. al-Mustadrak of al-Hakim vol. 1 page 313 printed from Hyderabad. After narrating the tradition he says:

هذا حدیث صحیح علی شرک الشیخین ولم یُخرجاه

“This tradition is correct according to the criteria set by the shaykhayn and they have not narrated it.”

4. Al-Jami' al-Saghir written by al-Suyuti narrated from al-Tirmidhi and Mustadrak al-Hakim page 59.

5. Talkhis al-Mustadrak written by al-Dhahabi (died in 748) which is printed below al-Mustadrak.

6. Al-Taj al-Jami' vol. 1 page 286. This book is the collection of the traditions of the five books of Sihah except Ibn Maja.

Therefore it is needless to speak and discuss about the reference of this tradition.

You hand over this tradition to someone who is acquainted with Arabic language and a person whose mind is completely free from the controversies of the Wahhabis in the matter of tawassul and ask him what the Holy Prophet (s) has commanded him in the du'a which he taught the blind man and how he guided him as to how one's ‘Duas’ are easily answered! He will immediately reply: “The Holy Prophet (s) has taught him to consider the blessed Prophet as a channel and to seek tawassul from him and ask God to fulfil his wish.

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This matter can easily be understood from the following sentences:

. A “O Lord, I ask Thee and turn towards Thee through the channel of your Prophet.”

اللهم إنی اسئلک وأتوجه إلیک بنبیک

The word نبیک is pertaining to the previous two words اسئلک and اتوجه إلیک

In clearer terms, he asks from God through the channel of ‘Nabi’ and also turns to God through him. Moreover by ‘Nabi’ is meant Nabi himself and not the ‘Dua’ of Nabi; to imagine that it means the du'a of Nabi is deficient of any reason.

Anyone who predetermines the word of du'a has no reason other than pre-judgement since, the one who commends such a word and does not think Tawassul to people to be correct forcibly strives to predetermine the word of ‘Dua’ so that nobody opposes his idea and eventually he may say: “It means tawassul to the ‘Dua’ of the Prophet (s) and not the Prophet himself and tawassul to the ‘Dua’ of someone is proper.


محمد نبی الرحمه

In order to clarify that asking God for the Sake of the Prophet and paying attention to Him through His channel is the right purpose, the word of نبیک is mentioned along with the sentence محمد نبی الرحمه which clarifies the fact much better and makes the meaning more apparent.

(C) The sentence یا محمد انی أتوجه بک إلی ربی shows that he (i.e. the blind man) is referring to Prophet Muhammad himself and not his du'a.

(D) The sentence وشفعه فیّ

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means O God make him as my intercessor and accept his intercession towards me. In all of these sentences what is said and explained is the very personality of the Holy Prophet (s) and his great position and there is no talk of the du'a of the Holy Prophet.

With this explanation all the five objections which the Wahhabi writer al-Rifa'i has mentioned in the book al-Tawassul ila haqiqat al-tawassul is done away with and we have brought the details of the objections and their reply in our book, al-Tawassul. Interested readers can refer to them on pages 147 to 153.

Second Tradition: Tawassul to The (Right) Of Questioner

'Atiyya al-'Awfi narrates from Abu Sa'id al-Khudri that the Holy Prophet (s) said: “Anyone who leaves his house for salat and recites in this state the following du'a, he will meet the mercy of Allah and one thousand angels will seek forgiveness for him.”(1)

اللهم إنی أسئلک بحق السائلین علیک وأسئلک بحق ممشای هذا فإنی لم اخرُج اشراً ولا بطراً ولا ریاء ولا سُمعه

وخرجت إتقاء سخطک وابتغاء مرضاتک فاسئلک ان تعیذنی من النار وان تغفر لی ذنوبی إنه لا یغفر الذنوب إلا أنت.

“O God I ask Thee by the right of the questioners and by the honour of the steps which I take in Thy direction, I have not left the house for the purpose of disobedience or recreation or hypocrisy. I have left for keeping away from Thy anger and achieving Thy satisfaction. I ask Thee to keep me away from the Fire and forgive my sins for nobody

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1- اقبل الله بوجهه واستفغر له ألف ملکSunan of Ibn Maja al-Qazwini which is one of the six Sihah. vol. 1 page 261-262 chapter of ‘Mosques’ Egyptian edition, and refer to al-Musnad Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal vol. 3 hadith no. 21.

forgives the sins except Thee.”

This tradition clearly bears testimony to the fact that man, while asking God for his need to be fulfilled can take the position and status of a pious person as his channel and the reasoning of this tradition brings to light our objective.(1)

Third Tradition: Tawassul to the Right of Holy Prophet (s)


After disobedience of Allah, Adam (‘a) in the light of the words which were manifested from God, repented as Qur’an says:

فَتَلَقَّیٰ آدَمُ مِنْ رَبِّهِ کَلِمَاتٍ فَتَابَ عَلَیْهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِیمُ

“Then adam received (some) words from his lord, so He turned to him mercifully; surely He is oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful. (Baqarah 2:37)”

Regarding the interpretation of کلمات (words) which has come down in this verse, a group of commentators and traditionists, by relying on the following tradition are having a view, which by paying attention to its text will become clear for us.

Al-Tabarani in Al-Mu'jam al-saghir, al-Hakim Naysaburi in al-Mustadrak, Abu Nu'aym al-Isfahani and al-Bayhaqi in the book of Dala'il al-nubuwwa, Ibn 'Asakir al-Shami in his al-Ta'rikh, al-Suyuti in al-Durr al-Manthur and al-Alusi in Ruh al-Ma'ani(2) have narrated from ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab that the Holy Prophet (s) has said: (3)

لما اذنب ادم الذی اذنبه رفع رأسه إلی السماء فقال اسئلک بحق محمد إلا غفرت لی فأوحی الله إلیه ومن مُحمد؟

فقال تبارک اسمک ، لما خلقت رفعت رأسی إلی غرشک فإذا فیه مکتوب لا إله إلا الله ومحمد رسول الله فقلت إنه

لیس أحد اعظم عندک قدراً: ممن جعلت اسمه مع اسمک فاوحی إلیه إنه اخر النبیین من ذریتک

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1- The command which has come in the verse of ولا تقربا هذا الشجره (Sura al-Baqarah:35) is not an authoritative command. Instead, it is an order in the guided sense or so to say an advisory aspect and opposition to such a command will not result in punishment and chastisement. Its consequence will be that the person will only be faced with the effect of the state of the action itself. If a doctor commands his patient who is suffering from cold not to eat sour things and muskmelon, opposing his command will have no result other than intensification of his cold. In the Holy Qur’an many verses testify that the divine prohibition was of a guided nature resulting in nothing but expulsion from heaven which is reckoned to be the effect of state of the action itself. Please refer to verses 118 and 119 of Sura Taha and the book of ‘Correct Tafsir of difficult verses of Qur’an’ the tenth matter from pages 73 to 82.
2- Mustadrak al-Hakim, vol. 2 page 615; Ruh al-Ma'ani vol. 1 page 217; al-Durr al-Manthur, vol. 1 page 59 narrated from al-Tabarani, Abu Nu'aym al-Isfahani and al-Bayhaqi.
3- The text of the hadith is taken from al-Durr al-Manthur and differs slightly from the text of al-Hakim in his al-Mustadrak although both are same in their contents.

ولولا هو لما خلقتک.

When Adam committed the sin he raised his head towards the sky and said (O God) I ask Thee by the right of Muhammad that You forgive me. God revealed to him: “Who is Muhammad?”

Adam replied: When You created me, I raised my head towards the ‘Arsh’ (Throne) and I saw that on it was written “There is no God except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. I said to myself that Muhammad must be His greatest creature that Allah has kept His name besides his own name. At this moment, it was revealed to him that Muhammad was the last of the Prophets from his Progeny and if it was not for Muhammad, God would have not created him.

Our View about this Tradition:

1. In the Holy Qur’an the word of (words) is applied to personalities contrary to what is common amongst us. For example:

أَنَّ اللَّهَ یُبَشِّرُکَ بِیَحْیَیٰ مُصَدِّقًا بِکَلِمَهٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ

“That Allah gives you the good news of Yahya verifying a Word from Allah, (Aal-Imran 3:39)”

یَا مَرْیَمُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ یُبَشِّرُکِ بِکَلِمَهٍ مِنْهُ اسْمُهُ الْمَسِیحُ عِیسَی ابْنُ مَرْیَمَ

“O Maryam, surely Allah gives you good news with a Word from him (of one) whose name is the Messiah, Isa son of Maryam. (Aal-Imran 3:45)”

إِنَّمَا الْمَسِیحُ عِیسَی ابْنُ مَرْیَمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَکَلِمَتُهُ

“The Messiah, Isa son of Maryam is only an Apostle of Allah and His Word, (Nisa 4:171)”

قُلْ لَوْ کَانَ الْبَحْرُ مِدَادًا لِکَلِمَاتِ رَبِّی لَنَفِدَ الْبَحْرُ

“Say: If the sea were ink for the words of

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my Lord. (Kahf 18:109)”

وَالْبَحْرُ یَمُدُّهُ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ سَبْعَهُ أَبْحُرٍ مَا نَفِدَتْ کَلِمَاتُ اللَّهِ

"With seven more seas to increase it, the words of Allah would not come to an end. (Luqman 31:27)”

Considering that the word of کلمات has come in the verse under our discussion, we can say that by کلمات is meant the same noble personalities to whom tawassul is sought and in the aforesaid tradition, only the name of Muhammad is mentioned from amongst the names of those personalities. Therefore, in Shia traditions, this reality is narrated in two ways. Sometimes کلمات is interpreted as a name of these holy personalities and sometimes it refers to their sparkling light. Here is both the interpretations:

إن أدم رای مکتوباً علی العرش اسماء معظمه مکرمه فسأل عنها فقیل له هذه اسماء اجل الخلق منزله عند الله

تعالی والأسماء محمد وعلیّ وفاطمه والحسن والحسین ، فتوسَّل ادم علیه السلام إلی ربه فی قبول توبته ورفع



Adam saw the names which were written in ‘arsh (throne) and did tawassul to them. It was told to him that these names were the most honourable creatures of Allah and they were Muhammad, 'Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan and al-Husayn. Adam repented by doing tawassul to them.

Another Shia tradition mentions that Adam saw the sparkling light of these five personalities. For knowing this tradition, please refer to Tafsir al-burhan.(2)

2. By referring to the historical and traditional books it becomes clear that tawassul of Adam ('a) to the Holy Prophet (s) was one famous and well-known matter. As,

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1- Majma' al-bayan vol. 1 page 89; Tafsir al-burhan, vol.1. page 86-88; ahadith no .2, 5, 11, 12, 14 and 27.
2- Tafsir al-burhan, vol. 1 page 87 ahadith no.13, 15 and 16.

Imam Malik told Mansur al-Dawanaqi in the shrine of the Holy Prophet (s) as such:

هو وسیلتک ووسیله ابیک أدم


“He (Holy Prophet) is your channel and your father, Adam's channel.”

The Islamic poets have put this reality into a form of verse:

به قد اجاب الله ادم دعا ونجی فی بطن السفینه نوح

قوم بهم عفرت خطیئه ادم وهم الوسیله والنجوم الطُلع

“On account of him, Allah accepted the ‘Dua’ of Adam and saved Noah inside the ship. They are such people through whom Adam's sin was pardoned and they are those who are the channels to Allah and the sparkling stars.”(2)

Fourth Tradition: Tawassul of Prophet (s) by the Right of Prophet (s) and by the Rights of Previous Prophets

لما ماتت فاطمه بنت أسد ، دخل علیها رسول الله (صلی الله علیه وأله) فجلس عند رأسها ، فقال رحمک الله یا أمی

بعد أمی ثم دعا رسول الله (صلی الله علیه وأله) اسمامه بن زید ، وابا أیُوب الأنصاری وعمر بن الخطاب وغُلاماً

اسود ، یحفرون ، فحفروا قبرها ، فلما بلغوا الحد ، حفر رسول الله بیده واخرج تُرابه ، فلما فرغ دخل رسول الله

(صلی الله علیه وأله) فاضطجع فیه ، ثم قال: الله الذی یُحیی ویُمیت وهو حیُّ لا یموت إغفر لأمی فاطمه بنت اسد

ووسّع علیها مدخلها بحق نبیک الدین من قلبی

“When Fatima, daughter of Asad passed away and the Holy Prophet (s) was informed about her death he came and sat beside her and said:

‘O my mother after my mother, may God have mercy upon you. Then he asked Usama, Abu Ayyub, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab and a black slave to prepare one grave. When the grave

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1- Sayyid Ahmad Zayni Dihlan writes in the both al-Durar al-saniyya, page 10 that al-Qadi 'Iyad has narrated this incident with correct reference. Imam al-Subki in his book Shifa al-Saqam, al-Samhudi in Wafa' al-wafa', and al-Qastallani in al-Mawahib al-ladunniyya. Ibn Hajar said in al-Jawhar al-munazzam that this incident has been narrated with correct references. Al-'Allama al-Zurqani writes in Sharh al-mawahib that Ibn Fahd has narrated this with a good (hasan) chain of narration and al-Qadi 'Iyad has narrated it with an authentic (sahih) chain of narration. The text of the conversation of al-Mansur with Imam Malik will be mentioned later in the text.
2- Kashf al-'irtiyab, pages 307, 308.

was ready the Holy Prophet (s) made a niche in the side of the grave and buried her with his own hands and then recited this ‘Dua’:

'O Allah the One who gives Life and Death: the One who is All-Living and never dies, Have mercy on Fatima daughter of Asad and make her abode vast by the right of your Prophet and the Prophets who came before me.’”

The writer of Khulasat al-kalam says:

رواه الطبرانی فی الکبیر والأوسط وابن حبان والحاکم وصحّحوه

“This tradition is narrated by al-Tabarani (in his al-Mu'jam), Ibn Hibban and al-Hakim and they have confirmed its authenticity.”(1)

Sayyid Ahmad ibn Zayni Dihlan writes in the book al-Durar al-saniyya fi al-radd 'ala al-wahhabiyya as such:

روی ابن أبی شیبه عن جابر مثل ذلک ، وکذا روی مثله ابن عبد البر عن ابن عباس ، ورواه ابو نعیم فی حلیه

الأولیاء عن أنس ، ذکل ذلک کُله الحافظ جلال الدین السُیوطی فی الجامع الکبیر.

The famous traditionist Ibn Abi Shayba has narrated this tradition from Jabir. Ibn 'Abd al-Barr and Abu Nu'aym too have narrated this tradition from Ibn 'Abbas and Anas respectively. Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti has brought all these matters in al-Jami' al-kabir.(2)

The writer narrates this tradition in the afore-mentioned form from two books that some of them contain the supplication related to our discussion while others do not.

1. Hilyat al-'awliya (Abu Nu'aym al-Isfahani, vol. 3 page 121.

2. Wafa' al-wafa' (al-Samhudi} vol. 3 page 899.

Fifth Tradition: Tawassul to Prophet (s) Himself

Some of the Islamic traditionists have narrated that an Arab accompanied

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1- Kashf al-'irtiyab, page 312 narrated from Khulasat al-kalam.
2- al-Durar al-saniyya, page 8.

with some villagers approached the Holy Prophet (s) and said:

لقد اتیناک وما لنا بعیر یط لنا ولا صبیُ یعظ

(1) (2)

“We have come to you while we are neither having a camel with us to groan nor a child to sleep.”

Thereafter he recited these poems

أتیناک والعذراء تُمی لبانُها وقد شُغلت أم الصبیّ عن الطفل

ولا شئ مما تأکل الناس عندنا سوی الحنظل العامی والعلهز الفسل

ولیس لنا إلا إلیک فرارُنا واین فرار الناس إلا إلی الرُسل

We have come to you while blood drops from the bosom of the horses; the mother has been restrained from her baby. We are not having anything with ourselves for people to eat except for bitter leaves which they eat in the year of famine and some bad food from wool and blood. We are having no alternative but to seek shelter in you, and in whom can people seek shelter except the Prophets.


فقال رسول الله یجرر حتی صعد المنبر ، فرفغ یدیه: اللهم إسقنا غیثاً مُغیثاً...فما ردّ النبی یدیه حتی ألقت

السماء...ثم قال لله درابی طالب لو کان حیاً لقرَّت عیناه ، من یُنشدنا قوله؟ فقال علیُ بن أبی طالب ، وقال وکأنک

تُرید یا رسول الله قوله:

وابیض یُستسقی الغمام بوجهه ثمال الیتامی للأرامل

یطوف به الهُلاک من أل هائم فهم عنده فی نعمه وفواضل

The Holy Prophet (s) said:

فأنشد علیّ ابیاناً من القصیده والرسول یستغفر لأبی طالب علی المنبر ، ثم قام رجل من کنانه وأنشد.

لک الحمد والحمد ممن شکر سُقینا بوجه النبی المطر

“‘Yes, my objective was the same as you have recited.’ Then Ali

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1- یئط is derived fromاطیط which means the noise of a camel.
2- اطیطis derived from غطیطwhich means the noise of a child while sleeping.

(‘a) read a portion of his elegy and the Holy Prophet (s) asked blessings for Abu Talib on top of the pulpit.’

After this a man from the tribe of Bani Kanane stood up and recited some lines where the first line meant as follows: “All the praise is for You. O Allah; praise from Your worthy slaves. By resorting to the Holy Prophet (s), we have become satiated by the rainfall.”

Numerous references have been narrated for this portion but the writer has narrated from the following documents:

a. 'Umdat al-qari fi sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 7 page 31 written by Badr al-Din Mahmud bin Ahmad al-'Ayni (died in the year 855) printed by Idara al-taba'a al-muniriyya.

b. Sharh Nahjul-Balagha by Ibn Abi al-Hadid, vol. 14 page 80.

c. al-Sira al-Halabiyya by 'Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi, vol. 3 page 263.

d. al-Hujja 'ala al-dhahib ila takfir Abi Talib, written by Shams al-Din Abi 'Ali Fakhar bin Ma'ad (died in the year 630), printed in Najaf, 'Alawi press, page 79.

e. Sira Zayni Dihlan in the margin of al-Sira al-Halabiyya, vol. 1 page 81.

Sixth Tradition: Tawassul to the Self of Prophet (s)

إن سواد بن قارب رضی الله ، انشد لرسول الله قصیدته الیئ فیها التوسل ویقول:

وأشهد أن الله لا رب غیره وأنک مأمون علی کل غائب

وأنک أدنی المرسلین وسیله إلی الله یابن الأکرمین الأطائب

فمُرنا بما یأتیک یا خیر مُرسل وإن کان فیما فیه شیب الذوائب

وکن لی شفیعاً یوم لا ذو شفاعه بمُغنٍ قتیلاً عن سواد بن قارب

“I bear witness that there is no God except Allah.

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You (O Prophet) are trustworthy upon every hidden thing from the senses. From amongst the Prophets you are the most nearest channel towards Allah. O the son of the honourable and noble! you command us whatever you receive. O, the most righteous Apostle! Although acting upon your commands causes the hair on the head to turn white, you be my intercessor on the Day when the intercession of the intercessors will be useless for Sawad bin Qaa'reb even to the extent of string of dates.”(1)

Till here we were able to mention some of the traditions of tawassul which have come in the historical and traditional books of Ahl al-Sunnah.

However in the traditions of Shi’a leaders, the matter of tawassul to holy personalities is so clear and obvious that it can be witnessed in most of their ‘Duas’ (supplications).

Should we learn Islamic teachings and instructions from Ibn Taymiyya and Muhammad ibn ’Abd al-Wahhab or acquire them from the Household of the Messengership and the progeny of the Holy Prophet (s) who by the order of Hadith al-Thaqalayn, are (The Lesser Weight) and witness to Qur’an. Amongst the numerous ‘Duas’ that have come in al-Sahifa al-'Alawiyya(2) or in du'a 'Arafa or in al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya, we shall content ourselves with only one of them which is most suitable in connection with the previous tradition.

Seventh Tradition: The Leader of the martyrs says in du'a 'Arafa

اللهم إنا نتوجه إلیک فی هذه العشیه التی فرضتها وعظمتها بمُحمد نبیک ورسولک وخیرتک من خلقک

“O Lord at such a moment that You have made it obligatory and

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1- al-Durar al-saniyya, page 27 written by Zayni Dihlan and al-Tawassul ila haqiqat al-tawassul, page 300
2- al-Sahifat al-'Alawiyya, ad'iya of Amir al-mu'minin which al-Shaykh 'Abdallah Samahiji has collected.

honourable upon me, I turn towards You by Muhammad, Your Prophet, Your Messenger and Your best of those created by You.”(1)

Practise of the Muslims Regarding Tawassul

The practise of the Muslims during the time of the Holy Prophet (s) and also after him was that they were always seeking ‘tabarruk’ to the awliya Allah themselves as well as to their position and status. Now we shall mention some of them here:

(1). Ibn al-'Athir 'Izz al-Din 'Ali bin Muhammad bin Muhammad bin 'Abd al-Karim al-Jazari (died in 630 AH) writes in the book Usd al-ghaba fi ma'rifat al-sahaba as such:

واستسقی عمر بن الخطاب بالعباس عام الرماده لما إشتد القحط فسقاهم الله تعالی به واخصبت الأرض فقال عمر


والله الوسیله إلی الله والمکان منه وقال حسان:

سال الإمام وق نتابع جدبنا فسقی الغمام بغره العباس

عمّ النبی وصنو والده الذی ورث النبی بذالک دون الناس

أحیا الإله به البلاد فأصبحت مخضره الأجناب بعد الیأس

ولما سُقی الناس طفقوا یتمسحون بالعباس ویقولون هنیئاً لک ساقی الحرمین

“In the year when famine reached its peak, ‘Umar requested for rain through the channel of Abbas. God satiated them through him and every place became green. Thereafter ‘Umar faced the people and said: ‘I swear by Allah that al-‘Abbas is our channel towards Allah and he is having a high station before Allah.’

Hassan ibn Thabit recited a poem in his honour and said: ‘When famine had severely engulfed the entire area, the Leader requested for rain.’

Thereafter the clouds in the sky, through the brightness of al-‘Abbas satiated the people. Al-‘Abbas who is the Uncle of the

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1- Mafatih al-jinan, du'a 'Arafa.

Prophet (s) and alike the father of the Prophet (s) has inherited such a position and status from him. Almighty Allah enlivened the places through him and every spot began to be filled with greenery after despair and disappointment. When it rained, people everywhere started seeking tabarruk by touching the body of al-‘Abbas and they said: Bravo O Saqi (cupbearer) of the two holy sanctuaries.”(1)

Observation of the period of history, an example of which has also been mentioned in Sahih al-Bukhari, shows that one of the means of tawassul was through the honourable personalities who were embodiment of nearness (to God) and meritorious and possessed virtues that make them suitable for tawassul. What an elegant manner to express this is to say:

هذا والله الوسیله إلی الله والمکان منه

‘This is by God a means for seeking nearness to God and at His House.’

(2). Al-Qastallani (died in the year 923 AH), who was a contemporary to Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, writes in his book al-Mawahib al-ladunniyya bil-manha al-muhammadiyyah fil seerat al-nabawiyyah that has been printed in Egypt that:

إن عمر لنا استسقی بالعباس قال یا أیها الناس إن رسول الله (صلی الله علیه وأله) کان یری للعباس ما یری الولد

للولد فاقتدوا به فی عمه واتخذوه وسیله إلی الله تعالی ففیه التصریح بالتوسل وبهذا یبطُل قول من منع التوسُل

مُطلقاً بالإحیاء والأموات وقول من منع ذلک بغیر النبی.

“When ‘Umar requested for rain through Abbas he said: 'O people! The Holy Prophet (s) used to look at Abbas from a father's angle. You follow him

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1- Usd al-ghaba, vol. 3 page 111. Egyptian edition.

and take him as your channel towards Allah.'" This action nullifies the notion and thought of those who have completely prohibited tawassul or have prohibited it for personalities other than Holy Prophet (s).”(1)

(3). When Mansur asked the grand Mufti of Medina, Malik bin Anas, whether he should face the qibla and recite du'a or face the Holy Prophet (s), the latter replied:

لِم تصرف وجهک عنه وهو وسیلتک ووسیله أبیک أدم (علیه السلام) إلی الله یوم القیامه بل استقبله واستشفع به

فیشفعک الله قال الله تعالی ولو أنهم إذ طلموا أنفسهم.

“Why do you turn your face away from him? He is your means and your father, Adam's channel on the Day of Judgement. You resort to him and take him as your intercessor as Almighty Allah accepts his intercession. Allah declares (in Quran) that if those who do injustice upon themselves..."(2)

(4). Ibn Hajar al-Haythami in the book of al-Sawa'iq al-muhriqa (which al-Qadi Nurullah al-Shustari refuted under the title of al-Sawarim al-muhriqa) has narrated the following two couplets:

إن النبی دریعتی هم إلیه وسیلتی

ارجوا بهم أعطی غداً بیدی الیمین صحیفتی

“The Household of the Holy Prophet (s) is my channel towards Allah and it is through their means that I have hope that my book of deeds will be given in my right hand."(3)

By taking into consideration these testimonies and words, one can claim that the Holy Prophet (s) and the outstanding personalities are one kind of channel which Qur’an has ordered for that as:

یا أیها الذین أمنوا اتقوا الله

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1- al-Mawahib al-ladunniyya, vol. 3 page 380 Egyptian editions and in Ibn Hajar Asqalani, Fath al-bari, vol. 2, page 413 (Lebanon print). It has also been reported in Sharh al-mawahib by al- Zurqani (1055 AH - 1122 AH).
2- Wafa' al-wafa', vol. 2 page 1376.
3- al-Sawa'iq al-muhriqa, page 178 (Cairo print).

وابتغوا إلیه الوسیله

“O you who believe! be careful of (your duty to) Allah and seek means of nearness to Him. (Maida 5:35)”

And وسیله (Channel) is not confined to observance of the wajib (obligatory) and haram (prohibited) acts. Instead, even the mustahab (recommended) acts such as tawassul to Prophets is a وسیله (channel) too. Can we find fault with so many scholars in understanding the meaning ofوسیله while they are the authorities in (passing) judgement and the protectors of traditions and are reckoned to be the Islamic scholars!

Those who do not give importance to these kinds of specifications and testimonies and think of their justification and interpretation are those who because of their prejudice do not intend to reap the benefits of these testimonies and evidences. For presenting an example of their prejudice and discrimination, we bring here a matter which al-Bukhari has narrated about this historical event and hence see with the vision of reality, how the curtain of prejudice has brought about deviation and chaos in this matter. We have replied to them in the book of al-Tawassul page 135 to 140.

(5) al-Bukhari narrates in his al-Sahih as such:

إن عمر بن الخطاب کان إذ قُحطوا إستسقی بالعباس بن عبد المُطلب رضی الله عنه ، وقال اللهم کُنا نتوسل إلیک

بنبینا فتُسقینا وإنا نتوسل إلیک بعمّ نبیینا فاسقنا قال فیُسقون.

“During the period of famine, ‘Umar bin al-Khattab would take resort to al-'Abbas bin 'Abd al-Muttalib and say: ‘O God! previously we were taking resort to Your Prophet

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and You were sending Your mercy on us; Now we take resort to Your Prophet's uncle send Your mercy on us.' At this moment it started to rain and everything got satiated.”(1)

There is nothing to be said about the authenticity and consensus regarding this tradition. Even al-Rifa'i who, under various pretexts, rejects the reliable traditions on tawassul has admitted the authenticity of this tradition and says:

إن هذا الحدیث صحیحُ... فإن صحَّ هذا الجواز شرعاً فنحن مِن

أسبق الناس إلی الأخذ به والعمل بمُقتضاه

“Certainly this tradition is correct….If the purpose of the tradition is a proof upon the correctness of tawassul to people then we are the first people to take the step to accept that purpose and act upon it.”(2)

By paying attention to the sentences of the Caliph himself which he narrates to al-'Abbas about tawassul and especially when he swears by Allah

هذا والله الوسیله إلی الله والمکان منه

“This is by God a means for seeking nearness to God and at His House.”(3)

It becomes clear that the reality of tawassul in this case is tawassul to the self or to the position and status of al-'Abbas before God.

In this regard, Muhammad bin Nu'man al-Maliki (died in the year 683 AH) narrates in his book Misbah al-zalam fi al-mustaghithin bi khayr al-'anam the manner of tawassul of ‘Umar to al-'Abbas as such:

اللهم إنا نستقیک بعمِّ نبیک (صلی الله علیه وأله) ونستشفع إلیک بشیبته فسُقوا وفی ذلک یقول عباس بن عتبه بن

أبی لهب: بعمِّی سقی الله

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1- Sahih Bukhari, chapter of Salat al-'istisqa, vol. 2 page 32.
2- Although, it was worthy to say إن هذا التاریخ صحیح because technically, tradition is that which must be narrated from the Holy Prophet (s) and our discussion too is about historical events and we reminded you previously of the traditions of tawassul.
3- Usd al-ghaba, vol. 3. page 111.

الحجاز وأهله عشیه یستسقی بشیبته عمر

"O God we ask for rain through the channel of thy Prophet's uncle and we take his authority and previous record in Islam as our intercessor. At this moment, the mercy of Allah showered upon everyone. 'Abbas ibn 'Utba ibn Abi Lahab recited a poem in this regard and said: 'By the blessings of my Uncle, the land of Hijaz and its inhabitants got satiated. And at sunset, ‘Umar did tawassul to his (Al-Abbas’s) virtuousness.'"(1)

In the same way, Hassan bin Thabit too recited a poem regarding this matter:

فسقی الغمام بغُره العباس

“The cloud satiated (everything) due to the sparkling face of Abbas.”

Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani says in the book of Fath al-bari fi sharh Sahih al-Bukhari:

Al-Abbas in his du'a said:

وقد توجه القوم بی إلیک لمکانی من نبیک

“The people resorted to me because of the bond of relationship which I have with Thy Prophet.” (2)

As the respected readers have observed, there is no place of doubt that the aim was tawassul to the position and status of Abbas and we are aware that from ancient times there is a saying that:

تعلیق الحُکم بالوصف مشعر بالعلیه

“Anytime, a judgement is derived from a topic, its content will be a testimony against the topic (and) a testimony upon the proof of judgement.”

That is to say, if the Holy Qur’an says:

وعلی المولود له رزقهن

“…Securing the necessities of life for the women is a matter concerning those whose wives bear children for them…

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1- Wafa' al-wafa', vol. 3 page 375 narrated from Misbah al-zalam.
2- Fath al-Bari, vol. 2 page 413 (print of Dar al-Ma'rifa Lebanon).

(Baqarah 2:233)”

It is a judgement due to expression of the reason of judgement and since women bring children for the men, their expenses in daily life should naturally be met by the men.

If we say: A learned man and a scholar should be respected, it is because of his knowledge and wisdom.

Therefore, if ‘Umar says إنا نتوسل إلیک بعمِّ نبیّکhe wishes to indicate the reason for doing tawassul to al-'Abbas. In other words, from among so many people, why should we do tawassul to him? As al-'Abbas himself said:

لمکانی من نبیک

“Because of my status in relation to your Prophet.”

Taking into consideration these reasonings, we can decisively say that the Muslims in the beginning of Islam were doing ‘tawassul’ to the righteous and virtuous personalities.

(6) Poem of Safiyya in grief of the Holy Prophet (s):

Safiyya, daughter of Abd al-Muttalib and aunt of the Holy Prophet (s) recited a poem in grief of the Holy Prophet (s). Two of its lines are:

ألا یا رسول الله أنت رجاؤنا وکُنت بنا براً ولم تک جافیاً

وکنت بنا براً رؤوفاً نبینا لیبکِ علیک القوم من کان باکیا

“O Prophet of God you are our hope. You were a righteous person and never did you oppress anyone. You were good and kind to us; O our Prophet, amongst your nation whosoever (claims to be) in grief should shed tears for you.”(1)

This part of the poem which was presented in the presence of the companinons of the Holy Prophet (s) and which has

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1- Dhakha'ir al-'uqba fi manaqib dhawi'l qurba, page 252 written by al-Hafiz Muhibb al-Din al-Tabari, born in 615 AH and died in 694 AH, (print of Maktab al-Quds, Cairo); and Majma' al-zawa'id, vol. 9 page 36, (2nd edition) written by al-Hafiz Nur al-Din al-Haytami. Let it not remain unsaid that the sentence of أنت رجاؤنا in the first line has appeared as کنت وجاؤنا in the aforesaid book.

been narrated by the historians informs us of the following points:

Firstly, conversation with the spirits or so to speak, the address to the Holy Prophet (s) after his demise was an action which was permitted and was a common practice. As she said:ألا یا رسول الله which is against the views of the Wahhabis, this kind of conversation is neither polytheism nor useless.

Secondly, by the decree of the sentence أنت رجاؤنا the Holy Prophet (s) was the hope of the Islamic society in all the conditions. Even after his demise, his relation with us is not disconnected. Here we shall mention some of the valuable writings of the great Sunni authors regarding ‘Tawassul’ towards the Holy Prophet (s). Referring to these books will clarify for the Islamic scholars the position of this matter and will manifest the fact that the matter of Tawassul, contrary to the views of the Wahhabis, was a practice in vogue amongst the Muslims.

(1) Ibn al-Jawzi (died in 597) has written a book by the name of al-Wafa bi 'ahwal al-Mustafa', and has earmarked one chapter for tawassul to the Holy Prophet (s) and another chapter for ‘seeking shifa from his grave’.

(2) Shamsuddin Muhammad bin Nu'man al-Maliki (died in the year 673 AH) has written a book by the name of Misbah al-zalaam fi al-mustaghithin bi khayr al-'anam and Sayyid Nur al-Din al-Samhudi has narrated a lot from him in his book Wafa' al-wafa' in the chapter of ‘Tawassul to the Holy Prophet

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(3) Ibn Dawud al-Maliki al-Shadhili has brought in his book al-Bayan wa al-'ikhtisar the tawassul of scholars and pious people to the Holy Prophet (s) in difficulties and hardships.

(4) Taqi al-Din al-Subki (died in the year 756 AH) has analysed this matter in his book Shifa al-siqam pages 120 to 133.

(5) Sayyid Nur al-Din al-Samhudi (died in the year 911 AH) has discussed this matter and brought testimonies to it in his book Wafa al-wafa' , vol. 2, pages 413 to 419.

(6) Abu al-'Abbas al-Qastallani (died in the year 932 AH) in his book al-Mawahib al-ladunniyya.

(7) Abu 'Abdulla al-Zurqani al-Maliki (died in the year 1122 AH) in his book Sharh al-Mawahib al-ladunniyya vol. 8 page 317.

(8) al-Khalidi al-Baghdadi (died in the year 1299 AH) author of Sulh al-'Ikhwan. Apart from this, he has written a risala (treatise) in reply to Sayyid Mahmud al-'Alusi Baghdadi about tawassul to the Holy Prophet (s) and has been printed in the year 1306 AH.

(9) al-'Adawi al-Hamzawi (died in the year 1303 AH) has discussed about tawassul in the book of Kanz al-matalib, page 198.

(10) al-'Azami al-Shafi'i al-Quda'i', author of Furqan al-Qur'an. This book has been printed along with the book al-'Asma wa al-sifat of al-Bayhaqi in 140 pages.

By referring to these books some of which have presented the facts and most prominent amongst them being Sulh al-'Ikhwan and Furqan al-Qur'an, one can know what was the practise of the Muslims in every period concerning tawassul to

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the Holy Prophet (s) and will reveal the exaggerations of Ibn Taymiyya and followers of his deviated ideology of Wahabism.

In the end, we shall once more remind you of what Qur’an says:

یَا أَیُّهَا الَّذِینَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَابْتَغُوا إِلَیْهِ الْوَسِیلَهَ وَجَاهِدُوا فِی سَبِیلِهِ لَعَلَّکُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

"O you who believe! be careful of (your duty to) Allah and seek means of nearness to Him and strive hard in His way that you may be successful. (Mai'da 5:35)”

This verse in general orders to seek tawassul but what exactly is tawassul is not mentioned in this very verse.

There is no doubt that performing the religious duties is a channel (for tawassul) but it is not confined to this meaning only. Instead by paying attention to the short history of tawassul to the awliya Allah, it will become clear that this action itself is one of the channels. Moreover, this matter will fully become clear by referring to the conversation of Imam Malik with Mansur and also the incident of the second Caliph requesting for rain by doing tawassul to al-'Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet (s).

Is It An Innovation To Commemorate The Birth And Death Anniversaries Of Awliya Allah?


The Wahhabis consider the honouring of birth and death anniversaries of awliya and divine personalities to be forbidden and an innovation. They are the staunch enemies of the awliya Allah and religious leaders and consider the gatherings on their birth and death anniversaries to be (haram) prohibited.

Muhammad Hamid al-Faqi, the leader of group ‘Ansar al-Sunnat al-Muhammadiyya’ in his footnotes to his

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book al-Fath al-Majid writes:

الذکریات التی ملاءت البلاد بإسم الأولیاء هی نوعٌ من العباده لهم وتعظیمهم

“Remembering and celebrating on the days of birth and death of awliya amounts to one kind of worshipping them and respecting before them.”(1)

The root of all their mistakes is that because they have not determined any limit and margin for polytheism (shirk), tawhid and specially the meaning of 'ibada, they think that every kind of respect and honour is worship. As you must have noticed, he has brought the word of 'ibada and homage close to each other and imagines that both give the same meaning.

In the one of next chapters, we shall explain the meaning of 'ibada and clearly prove that every honour and respect to the virtuous servants of God with the intention that they are the ‘servants’ of Allah, does not result in their worship at all. Therefore, we shall examine this discussion from another angle (not polytheism in 'ibada).

Undoubtedly, Qur’an has repeatedly praised the Prophets and awliya with eloquent and rhetorical words.

About Zakaria, Yahya and others the Qur’an says:

إِنَّهُمْ کَانُوا یُسَارِعُونَ فِی الْخَیْرَاتِ وَیَدْعُونَنَا رَغَبًا وَرَهَبًا ۖ وَکَانُوا لَنَا خَاشِعِینَ

“Surely they used to hasten, one with another, in deeds of goodness and to call upon Us, hoping and fearing, and they were humble before Us. (al-'Anbiya 21:90)”

Now, if in a gathering which is held under their name, someone portrays them in a similar manner which has come down in the contents of this verse and by

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1- al-Fath al-Majid, page 154. At this time when these pages and papers are being composed, and in the entire Islamic countries celebrations are being held on the occasion of the birth of the Holy Prophet, the Mufti of the House of Sa’ud, Bin Baz has declared as forbidden and innovation any kind of respect for the birthday of the Holy Prophet (s). But the same person addressed King Faisal al-Sa’ud during his reign as ‘Amir al-mu'minin’ and this action was biting and shocking to the extent that the king too understood and excused for accepting this title.

this way honours them, has he done anything other than obeying the Holy Qur’an?

About the household of the Prophet, Allah (swt) says:

وَیُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَیٰ حُبِّهِ مِسْکِینًا وَیَتِیمًا وَأَسِیرًا

"And they give food out of love for Him to the poor and the orphan and the captive. (Dahr 76:8)”

Now if the followers of Ali come together on the birthday of Amir al-mu'minin and say that Ali is one who used to give his own food to the poor, orphan and the captive, have they by this act worshipped him!?

If on the birthday of the Holy Prophet (s) we translate the verse which praises the Prophet into a non-Arabic language or write a poem on a tablet and recite it in a gathering, have we committed a forbidden action!?

They are having enmity with the matter of honouring the Holy Prophet (s) and awilya Allah that they wish to stop this under the pretext of fight against innovation.

At this stage a question is brought up to which the loud-speakers amongst the Wahhabis lay great emphasis and it is this: ‘Since these assemblies and gatherings are held under the name of religion and are labelled as Islamic, they should be approved specifically and generally by the Islamic rules. Otherwise it would be innovation (bid’at) and forbidden (haram).

The reply to this question is quite clear because the verses of Qur’an that draw our attention to the necessity of honouring the Prophet is sufficient in this case and these kinds

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of gatherings are not held for any reason other than respecting the awliya Allah. That thing is considered to be ‘innovation’ which is not approved specifically or generally by Qur’an or the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet.

The purpose of these honourings which is common amongst all the nations of the world is nothing but paying respect and homage and this practise is common among all the Muslims of the world except for these handful of dry wahhabi ‘Najdis’. If it was innovation and something new and not confirming with the general Islamic principles, it was impossible that the Islamic scholars would celebrate the birthday of the Holy Prophet (s) and make splendid such gatherings by reading scholarly monographs and reciting sweet and elegant poems.

Here are some logical reasoning from Qur’an permitting such respect and honourings:

First Proof

The Holy Qur’an praises that group of people who honour the Holy Prophet (s):

فالذین امنوا به وعزَّروه ونصروه واتبعوا النُور الذی أنزل معه أولئک هُم المُفلحون.

“So (as for) those who believe in him and honour him and help him, and follow the light which has been sent down with him, these it is that are the successful. (A'raf 7:157)”

The words which have appeared in this verse comprises of:

أمنوا به



واتبعوا النُور

Is it possible for one to think that the words أمنوا به , نصروه and واتبعوا النورare confined to the period of the Holy Prophet? Certainly not! If such a probability cannot be given about these three words, the word of عزَّروه

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which gives the meaning of honour and respect(1) cannot be assigned to the period of the Holy Prophet (s) and thus this sublime leader should be respected and honoured at all times.

Is it not that arranging memorial gathering on the day of bi'that and birth of the Holy Prophet (s) and delivering speeches and poems on such occasions clear evidence to عزَّروه?

Surprisingly, the Wahhabis pay homage and respect their own tribal leaders and rulers and honour even one ordinary person such that observing one hundredth of that with regard to the Holy Prophet (s), his pulpit and alter is considered to be innovation and anti-Islamic by them. As a result they introduce Islam to the world as one dry religion lacking any sentiments and affections and think that the shari'a which is in fact simple and easy, matching with the human nature and feeling and generous enough to attract the people is a dry "shari'a" which does not consider the respect of divine leaders to be of any significance and does not possess the ability to attract the people of the world.

Second Proof

What do the Wahhabis who oppose any kind of mourning ceremonies for the martyrs in the way of Allah have to say about the story of Ya'qub ('a)? If today, this great Prophet was living amongst these Najdis and the followers of Muhammad bin ’Abd al-Wahhab how would have they judged him?

Day and night he was weeping for his separation from Yusuf and all the

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1- Refer to al-Raghib, Mufradat al-Raghib, under " ' dh r".

time he was asking the people about the whereabouts of his beloved son. He was so much sorrowful by the separation of his son that he lost his eye-sight.(1)

Sickness and loss of eye-sight did not deter Ya’kub (‘a) from forgetting his son Yusuf (‘a). Instead, as the promise of re-union was drawing closer the flames of love towards his son increased manifold and he could smell Yusuf miles away.(2)

And instead of the star (Yusuf) pursuing the sun (Ya'qub ('a)) it was vice -versa.

Why expression of such affection during the life of the loved one (i.e. Yusuf) is correct and confirms to Tawhid but after his death when the heart becomes more prone to pain and suffering it amounts to polytheism and becomes forbidden?

Now if the Ya'qubs of our time gather together every year on the death anniversary of their Yusufs and speak about the value of his moral qualities due to which they start crying, will such an act amount to worshipping of their sons!?(3)

Third Proof

Undoubtedly, مودت ذوی القربی (love towards kinship) is one of the Islamic obligations which Qur’an explicitly commends us towards it. Now, after fourteen centuries if someone wishes to act upon the religious obligations then what should we do? Is it not that he should rejoice on their joyous days and become sorrowful on the days of their grief and sorrow?

Now, for expressing one's own pleasure, if someone holds a gathering wherein he reveals their historical life and sacrifices and describes

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1- وابیضت عیناه من الحزنSura Yusuf: 84.
2- إنی لاجد ریح یوسف لولا أن تفندونSura Yusuf verse: 94.
3- Moreover, reliable traditions have come down from the Infallibles about holding of mourning ceremonies and in this connection, Allama al-'Amini has collected in one chapter of his book titled: سیرتنا وسنتناall the traditions from Sunni books

their innocence and their deprivation from their rightful claims then, has he done anything other than expressing his affection and manifesting mawadda dhawi'l qurba? (مودت ذوی القربی)

If, for showing more affection, such a person visits their progeny and comes near their graves and holds such gatherings near their graves then, has he in the eyes of the wise and intelligent people, done anything other than manifesting his love and affection!?

Except that the Wahhabis may say: Such love and affection should be kept secret and confined to the heart and no one has the right to manifest and express them (openly).

During the time of the Holy Prophet (s) and the period after him which was the period of change of thoughts and beliefs, different tribes and nations with different cultures and customs were turning towards Islam and by reciting the shahadatayn (creed) their Islam was accepted. The position of Prophet and the leaders was never to investigate, censor (by establishing the ‘section for scrutinizing of beliefs’) than dissolve the entire rites and customs of the nations and tribes and bring them out in another form different from the previous ones.

Respect of leaders, establishing memorial ceremonies, attending the graves and expressing love for their signs and traces was and is the custom of all nations and tribes. At present too, the people of East and West stand for hours in queue waiting to pay visit to the mummified bodies and graves of ancient leaders in order to express

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their love and shed tears in their grief. They consider this to be one way for expressing respect and honour.

It was never seen that the Holy Prophet (s) would accept the Islam of people only after investigating their beliefs and examining their practises and customs in practical life. Instead, expressing the ‘Shahadatain’ was enough for him. If these practices and customs were forbidden and or amounted to worshiping the ancestors, then it was necessary to accept the Islam of nations and tribes (only) after taking allegiance and promise from them about their exoneration (of such practices) while such was never the case.

Fourth Proof

We see Isa (‘a) asks for table (with food) from the Almighty Allah and introduces the day of its dissension as the day of celebration and says:

رَبَّنَا أَنْزِلْ عَلَیْنَا مَائِدَهً مِنَ السَّمَاءِ تَکُونُ لَنَا عِیدًا لِأَوَّلِنَا وَآخِرِنَا وَآیَهً مِنْکَ ۖ وَارْزُقْنَا وَأَنْتَ خَیْرُ الرَّازِقِینَ

“O Allah, our lord! send down to us food from heaven which should be to us an ever-recurring happiness, to the first of us and the last of us, and a sign from Thee, and grant us means of subsistence, and Thou art the best of the Providers. (Maida 5:114)”

Is the value of the Holy Prophet's existence lesser than one heavenly table which Isa (‘a) declares the day of its dissension to be the day of ‘Eid’. If such a day is declared to be the day of ‘Eid’ because of the table being a divine sign, then is not the Holy Prophet

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(s) the greatest divine sign!?

Woe to those who are ready to celebrate the day of dissension of one heavenly table that feeds the stomachs but ignore and label as innovation, the celebration of the day of dissension of Qur’an and the day of appointment (bi’that) of Prophet who blessed the minds of human beings with perfection of thought over the period of history !

Fifth Proof

The Qur’an says:

ورفعنا لَک ذِکرَک

“And exalted for you your esteem? (Inshiraah 94:4)”

Is it that arranging gatherings for celebrating the days of birth of the Holy Prophet (s) having any purpose other than elevating his name and fame! Why in this case we should not follow the Qur’an? Is not Qur’an an example and the best model for us?

Seeking Benediction And Cure From The Signs And Traces Of Awliya

The Wahhabis reckon tabarruk (seeking benediction) towards the traces of awliya to be polytheism and label the one who kisses the altar and pulpit of the Holy Prophet (s) as polytheist even though in doing that he doesn’t believe in any kind of godliness in it. Rather, love and affection to the Holy Prophet (s) becomes the cause of kissing the signs and traces related to him. Here we ask, what have they to say about the shirt of Yusuf (a')?

اذْهَبُوا بِقَمِیصِی هَٰذَا فَأَلْقُوهُ عَلَیٰ وَجْهِ أَبِی یَأْتِ بَصِیرًا

Yusuf ('a) says: ‘Take my shirt and cast it over my father's face so that he regains his eye-sight. (Yusuf 12:93)”

Ya'qub ('a) too kept the shirt of Yusuf over his eyes and at that same moment

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realized that he could see. As he says:

فَلَمَّا أَنْ جَاءَ الْبَشِیرُ أَلْقَاهُ عَلَیٰ وَجْهِهِ فَارْتَدَّ بَصِیرًا

“So when the bearer of good news came he cast it on his face, so forthwith he regained his sight.” (Yusuf 12:96)”

If Ya'qub ('a) would have done such a thing in front of the Najdis and followers of Muhammad bin 'Abd al-Wahhab, how would have they behaved with him? Now would they explain the action of an immaculate Prophet who is free from sins and mistakes!?

Now if the Muslims keep the soil of the grave of the last of the Prophets or his shrine over their eyes and kiss out of respect, the grave and shrine of the divine leaders or seek tabarruk and say that God has exerted some effect in this soil and wishes to follow the Ya'qub ('a) of today in so and so affair then why should they be subjected to curse and be accused of heresy.(1)

Those who are aware of the life history of the Holy Prophet (s) know that the companions of the Holy Prophet (s) were always taking precedence to each other in doing tabarruk to the water of his wudhu (ablution). It is sufficient in this case, to briefly refer to Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim which are thought to be the most authentic among the six Sihah. Here, we mention some of them:

(1) About the event of ‘Peace of Hudaybiyya’ Bukhari writes:

“Whenever the Holy Prophet (s) was taking ablution, his companions

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1- All the Muslims, right from the time of the Holy Prophet (s) till now, have been seeking tabarruk to the traces of the Holy Prophet (s) and Shaykh Muhammad Thahari Makki has proved this matter with decisive historical evidences in his treatise which was printed in 1385. This treatise is called تبرک الصحابه بأثار رسول اللهand has been translated into Persian.

use to take precedence to each other in collecting the drops of water of his ablution.”(1)

(2) In the chapter of ‘Last of the Prophets’, Bukhari narrates from Sa'ib bin Yazid that: “My aunt took me to the Holy Prophet (s) and informed him about my illness. The Holy Prophet (s) made ablution and asked Allah for blessings for me and I drank from the water of his ablution.”(2)

(3) In the chapter of ‘The characteristics of the Prophet’, Bukhari narrates from Wahab bin 'Abdullah that: “People were rubbing the hands of the Holy Prophet (s) over their faces and I too took the hands of the Prophet and rubbed them over my face and his hands were more fragrant than musk.”(3)

(4) In the chapter of ‘The characteristics of the Prophet', Bukhari narrates:

The Holy Prophet (s) was in ‘Abtah’ standing beside the tents. Bilal came out from a tent and called the people for prayers. Again he went inside and brought out the remaining drops of water of ablution of the Holy Prophet (s). The people rushed towards it and sought tabarruk from it.(4)

(5) Muslim narrates in his Sahih from Anas that: “When the Holy Prophet (s) was shaving his head his companions were besides him and each one of them held one string of his hair in their hands.(5)

These were some examples of affection of the companions and their tabarruk to the signs and traces of the Holy Prophet (s) and collecting these incidents necessitates the

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1- Sahih al-Bukhari, vol.3 page 255.
2- Sahih al-Bukhari, vol.4 page 227; and Sahih Muslim, Chapter of ‘Last of the Prophets’.
3- Sahih al-Bukhari, vol.4 page 226
4- Sahih al-Bukhari, vol.4 page 231.
5- Sahih Muslim, vol. 4., Book of ‘Virtues of Companions’

writing of one separate book.

By referring to the last chapter of Sahih Bukhari about jihad and also the chapter related to the armour, stick, sword, vessels, seal, ring, hair and shroud of the Holy Prophet (s) one can become aware of the evident examples of tabarruk.

These traditions expose and explain the baseless nature of the culture of the Wahhabism that prevents the people from seeking tabarruk to the holy shrine of Prophet (s) and have employed special groups of persons to beat physically and use foul language with those who seek tabarruk to the holy shrine of the Holy Prophet (s). They thus stop the Muslims from expressing such love and affection which had been in practice during the period of the Holy Prophet (s) in his very presence.

The matter of prevention of tabarruk to the traces of the Holy Prophet (s) and kissing of his shrine and pulpit is one of the greatest ideological expressions of the Wahhabism. The Wahhabi Government of Saudi Arabia under the garb of ‘amr bi al-ma'ruf (enjoining the good) and nahi 'an al-munkar (forbidding the evil) have stationed their agents around the holy shrine in order to prevent the pilgrims from performing such action and they too behave harshly and mercilessly with the pilgrims. Many times at such occasions innocent blood is shed and many persons’ honour and prestige got damaged. The root cause of their belief is that kissing and honouring the shrine amounts to worshipping the one in grave, as

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if ‘every respect is worship.’

Since these helpless people who are far from the reality of Islamic teachings are unable to interpret 'ibada (worship) in the logical sense, they have become puzzled and confused and take every type of respect to the dead to be an 'ibada. In the next chapter, we shall draw a precise limit and boundary for 'ibada, but what is important now is to know what was the practice of the Muslims in this matter:

(1) After the Holy prophet's burial, his daughter Fatima (‘a) stood near his grave and then taking some soil from the grave she put it over her face. She later cried and recited these two poems:

ماذا علی من شَّم تُربه احمدا أن لا یشُم مدی الزمان غوالیا

صُبَّت علیَّ مصائب لو أنها صُبت علی الأیام صرن لیالیا

“What happens to the one who smells the soil of grave of Ahmad, who till he is alive, shall smell no more the expensive musks.”

صُبَّت علیَّ مصائب لو أنها صُبت علی الأیام صرن لیالیا

“I was faced with such calamities that if it had befallen on the bright day it would have changed to night.”(1)

(2) The great companion Bilal who left Medina for some reason and settled by order of the frontier guards, in the districts of Syria saw in his dream that the Holy Prophet (s) was saying:

“What kind of injustice is this, O Bilal? Has not the time come that you visit us!? He woke up from his sleep in sadness and sat

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1- Many of the research writers have narrated this incident such as al-Shabrawi in al-Tuhaf page 9 and al-Samhudi in Wafa' al-wafa', vol. 2 page 444 and al-Khalidi in Sulh al-'Ikhwan, page 57 and others.

on his horse and left for Medina. When he reached the grave of the Holy Prophet (s) he started to cry and rubbed his face over it. Later he saw al-Hasan and al-Husayn and kissed both of them.(1)

(3) Amir al-mu'minin 'Ali ('a) says: “Three days had lapsed from the burial of the Holy Prophet (s) when a Bedouin Arab came and threw himself over the grave of the Holy Prophet (s). He sprinkled the soil of his grave over his head and started to converse with the Holy Prophet (s). He said: ‘O Prophet of Allah, you spoke and we listened. You received the truth from Allah and we too received it from you. From the things which Allah revealed to you is this:

ولو أنهم إذ ظلموا أنفسهم

I have done injustice upon myself. So seek forgiveness for me from Allah. Suddenly he heard a voice saying: Your sins have been forgiven.”

This incident has been narrated by most of the historians mainly al-Samhudi in Wafa' al-wafa', vol. 2 page 612 and Shaykh Dawud al-Khalidi (died in 1299 AH) in Sulh al-'Ikhwan and others.

(4) al-Hakim narrates in al-Mustadrak that: Marwan bin al-Hakam entered the mosque and saw a man putting his face over a grave. Marwan caught hold of his neck and said: “Are you aware of what you are doing?” The man lifted his head and it became apparent that he was Abu Ayyub al-Ansari. He said: ‘I have not come to visit a stone, but have come

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1- This incident has been narrated by a group like al-Subki in Shifa al-Saqam narrating from Ibn 'Asakir, and Ibn al-'Athir in Usd al-ghaba, vol. 1 page 28.

to visit the Holy Prophet (s). O Marwan, I have heard the Holy Prophet (s) saying: When the pious people bear the leadership do not cry for that. Do cry when unworthy men become the leaders (i.e. you and your Umayyad household).’(1)

This period of history reveals the root of ‘creation of obstacle’ to prevent seeking tabarruk from the grave of the Holy Prophet (s) and shows that the companions of the Holy Prophet (s) were constantly seeking tabarruk from the holy grave of the Holy Prophet. It was people like Marwan bin al-Hakam who used to prevent people from this well-known deed.

The historical incidents in this case are so numerous that narrating all of them will lengthen our discussion. Interested readers can refer to the book Tabarruk al-sahaba and the valuable book al-Ghadir vol. 5 page 146-156.

In the end, we are bound to mention that all these historical narratives can never be false and baseless. Now, even if we assume that all of them are false and baseless yet they will serve our purpose. Because, if such an action was heresy, polytheism, unlawful or forbidden, then the fabricators would have never attributed them to religious personalities since the liars fabricate instances which are worthy of approval by the society so that the people believe and accept their made up stories. They never attribute anything which is heresy, polytheism, forbidden or unlawful to the pious people because in such a case they will be confronted with the resistance

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1- Mustadrak al-Hakim, vol. 4 page 515

and non-acceptance of the people and their arrows will hit the stone and miss the target.

Tawhid in 'Ibada and Worship (or Pretext of Wahhabis)


Monotheism (worship of the one God) is the basis of the invitation of the Prophets in all ages. This means that all the human-beings must worship the one God and refrain from worshipping creatures.

Monotheism and shattering the chains of ‘dualism’ and ‘polytheism’ are the most fundamental heavenly commands and have been the epigraph of the programme of all the divine Prophets.

Every Prophet had been appointed with one main aim and that is establishing monotheism and fighting against absolute polytheism and especially polytheism in worship.

The Holy Qur’an refers to this reality and says:

وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِی کُلِّ أُمَّهٍ رَسُولًا أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ

“And certainly We raised in every nation an Apostle saying: Serve Allah and shun the taghut. (Nahl 16:36)”

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ قَبْلِکَ مِنْ رَسُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِی إِلَیْهِ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدُونِ

“And we did not send before you any apostle but we revealed to him that there is no god but Me, therefore serve Me. (Anbiya 21:25)”

The Holy Qur’an introduces monotheism as a common base among all the heavenly precepts:

قُلْ یَا أَهْلَ الْکِتَابِ تَعَالَوْا إِلَیٰ کَلِمَهٍ سَوَاءٍ بَیْنَنَا وَبَیْنَکُمْ أَلَّا نَعْبُدَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَلَا نُشْرِکَ بِهِ شَیْئًا

“Say: O followers of the Book! come to an equitable proposition between us and you that we shall not serve any but Allah and (that) we shall not associate aught with Him. (Aal-e Imran 3:64)”

Tawhid in worship is a decisive

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and firm foundation which has never been opposed by any of the Muslims and all the sects hold a common view about it. Although the group of Mu'tazilites are having a different view in توحید افعالی (Tawhid in actions) and the group of ‘Asharites differ in توحید صفات (Tawhid in attributes), still all the Islamic sects have had one opinion in this respect and no Muslim can deny this principle. And if there is any differences, they are all related to مصادیق (its applicability); that is to say some of the Muslims imagine some of the actions to be ‘ibadat (worship) whereas others consider that to be honour and respect. Whatever dispute which exists is inصغری (minor type) i.e. whether so and so act is ‘ibadat or not and not in کبری (of major type) i.e. ‘ibadat other than Allah amounts to polytheism and is forbidden. It is here that we should properly clarify the meaning of ‘ibadat from the viewpoint of dialect and the Qur’an and then the relevant duties and مصادیق (applicability) of the matters under discussion will automatically become clear.

Tawhid in ‘ibada is not something which some particular group can attribute it to themselves. Instead, all the monotheists, especially the Muslims are of one view in this regard. What is of concern is the talk and discussion of a series of actions which some manifest them as ‘ibada while others do not consider them to have any relation to ‘ibada. Thus we have to talk and

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discuss about this matter in this section. We have to define ‘ibada in logical terms and clarify its limits and boundaries and hand over a criterion to the other person so that under the light of this he can distinguish the true ‘ibadat from the false one.(1)

Limits of ‘Ibada and its Comprehensive Meaning

‘Ibada in Arabic is equivalent to ‘worship’ in English. Just as the word 'worship' is having a clear and obvious meaning for us, in the same manner the word of ‘ibada is having a clear meaning even though we may not be able to give it a logical definition, and interpretation.

Undoubtedly, the meaning of ‘land’ and ‘sky’ is very clear and obvious for all of us but still, most of us are unable to define and explain them perfectly. However this matter cannot prevent us from understanding the clear and obvious meaning of these two words if ever we hear them.

'Ibada and worship too are similar to the words ‘land’ and ‘sky’ Everyone is aware of its actual meaning even though we may not be able to define it logically as the actual dispensations of each of the words of ‘ibada and ta'zim or worship and honour is clear for us and differentiating the instance of each from the other is simple and easy.

A lover who kisses the door and walls of the house of beloved one or keeps dress or puts it over chest or after death, kisses the grave of beloved will never be taken as a worshipper in

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1- In the Holy Qur’an too, sometimes this meaning has been utilised like Sura Shu’ra. وتلک نعمه تمنها علی ان عبدت بنی اسرائیل

the eyes of anybody. The action of those who hasten for visiting the mummified bodies of great world leaders who are a centre of attraction for a group of people or visit their traces, houses and haven or for honouring them go into a few seconds of silence and hold ceremonies, will not be reckoned as ‘ibada (worship) even though their humility and manifestation of love is in the rank of humility of monotheists in front of God. In this discussion, only the awakened consciences can be the judges in order to differentiate between ta'zim (respect) and ‘ibada (worship).

Now if we wish to explain ‘ibada in the logical sense and wish to test and analyse it, we can define it in three ways and all the three explanation can pursue the same objective. However, before that we shall mention two defective introductions upon which the Wahhabis rely.

Two Defective Presentation of ‘ibada

A. Ibadat: Humility (خضوع) and Submissiveness (تذلل)

In dictionaries, the word of ‘ibada has been interpreted as humility or humbleness (خضوع) and manifestation of meekness or submissiveness (4) (اظهار تذلل) Such an interpretation cannot give a precise, correct and perfect meaning of the word of ‘ibada because:

(1) If ‘ibada is synonymous to either humility (خضوع) and meekness, (تذلل) then we cannot issue an identity card of tawhid for anybody in this world and cannot call anyone as a monotheist because man, by nature, is humble and meek in front of the spiritual and material perfections of those who are above him and better than him, like a student in

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front of his teacher, a child in front of his teacher, a child in front of his father and mother, a lover in front of his beloved one and so on.

(2) The Holy Qur’an commands the children to be low and humble before the parents. It says:

واخفِض لهُما جناح الذُّل مِن الرحمه وقُل رب ارحمهُما کما ربّیانی صغیراً.

“And make yourself submissively gentle to them with compassion, and say: O my Lord! have compassion on them, as they brought me up (when I was) little. (Bani-Israel 7:24)”

If an abject humility is the sign of ‘Ibadat’ of that person, then all the obedient children have to be called as polytheists and all the disobedient ones as monotheists.

B. 'Ibada: Unlimited Humility

When some of the commentators became aware of the deficiency of interpretation of the compilers of dictionaries, they strived to amend it and interpreted it in another manner. They said: 'ibada is that unlimited humility in sensing, perfection and greatness.’

Such an interpretation is no less than the first interpretation because God orders the angels to prostrate before Adam (a'). As Qur’an says:

وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِکَهِ اسْجُدُوا لِآدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِیسَ

“And when We said to the angels: Make prostration to Adam they did prostrate except Iblis. (Baqarah 2:34)”

Prostration in front of a creature is evidence of meekness and the manifestation of unlimited humility.

If such an act is the sign of ‘ibada, then all the obedient angels are to be declared as polytheists, and the disobedient Satan as a monotheist.

The sons of

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Ya'qub ('a) and even he himself along with his wife prostrated before the magnificence of Yusuf as the holy Qur’an says:

وَخَرُّوا لَهُ سُجَّدًا ۖ وَقَالَ یَا أَبَتِ هَٰذَا تَأْوِیلُ رُؤْیَایَ مِنْ قَبْلُ قَدْ جَعَلَهَا رَبِّی حَقًّا ۖ

“And they fell down in prostration before him, and he said: O my father! this is the significance of my vision of old, my Lord has indeed made it to be true. (Yusuf 12:100)”

The Holy Qur’an narrates the dream of Yusuf ('a) in his childhood and says:

إِنِّی رَأَیْتُ أَحَدَ عَشَرَ کَوْکَبًا وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ رَأَیْتُهُمْ لِی سَاجِدِینَ

“Surely I saw eleven stars and the sun and the moon making obeisance to me. (Yusuf 12:4)”

Following the leader of the monotheists, the Holy Prophet (s) - all the Muslims honour hajar al-'aswad (black stone) and rub their hands over it. That is to say, they act in the same way as idol-worshippers do to their idols with the difference that our action is purely tawhid and their action purely heresy.

By paying attention to this point, one should not search the reality of ‘ibada only in the external form of action and in the absolute humilities and meekness even though humility and meekness are amongst the actual elements and essentials of ‘ibada. However, the elements and essentials are not confined to that; rather humility and meekness should also be linked with some special belief and in fact if humility whether unlimited or to a lesser degree originates from a special belief, it will be counted

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as ‘ibada. As a matter of fact, it is belief that gives the colour of ‘ibada to one’s action and without it, the action cannot be regarded as ‘ibada.

Now, what is this second element? This is what we are going to discuss in this section. i.e. the logical explanation of ‘ibada.

First Definition of ‘Ibada

‘Ibada is that practical, literal or verbal humility which originates from belief in the divinity of source entity.

Now we should see what is meant by ‘Divinity’ and the crucial point of our discussion lies in understanding the meaning of ‘Divinity’. الوهیت or Divinity gives the meaning of Godliness and gives the meaning of God. If incidentally, the word of (God) has been interpreted as ‘deity’, it necessitates explanation and not that deity is the actual meaning of . Rather, in view of the fact that the genuine and / or the imaginary have been the deity and object of worship among the people of the world, it is supposed that gives the meaning of deity; otherwise deity is from the requisites of and not its primary meaning.

A clearer evidence that the word or denotes the meaning of God and not deity is the very pure creed (of faith) i.e لا إله إلا الله. If in this sentence, the word of is interpreted as ‘deity’ then this creed will be a false one because it is clear and obvious that with the exception of ‘Allah’ , there are thousands of other deities too.

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Therefore, for relieving themselves from the difficulty, some people have commended the word of بالحق so that in this way they remove the falsehood and thus the meaning of the sentence becomes لا معبود بالحق إلا بالله (no deity with the truth except Allah). However appreciating such a sentence is nothing but a formality.

A clear proof of this definition is a verse which has come in this regard. Examining this verse will clarify the fact that ‘ibada is that kind of speech and action which originates from the belief in divinity(1) and till such a belief does not exist in a person his humility and bowing down or honour and respect will not be counted as ‘ibada. When Qur’an gives command to perform ‘ibada of Allah, it immediately convinces that except for Him there is no god. As Qur’an says:

یَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مَا لَکُمْ مِنْ إِلَٰهٍ غَیْرُهُ

“O (my) people, worship Allah; there is no god for you except Him. (al-A'raf 7:59)”

The main theme of this verse has come in nine or more instances and our dear readers can refer to Sura A'raaf, verses 65, 73, 58, Sura Hud, verses 5, 61 and 84 Sura Anbiya, verses 25 Sura Mominun, verses 23 and 32 and Sura Taha, verse 14.

Such interpretations indicate that ‘ibada is that humility and meekness which originates from belief in divinity and if such a belief does not exist, then it cannot be regarded as ‘ibada.

This verse and its contents is not

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1- When it is said that the idols are god it does not necessarily mean that they are the Creators or that they are managing the affairs of this world. Rather God is having a wider meaning which includes real and imaginary gods. Whenever we reckon some being to be the source of divine activities and imagine that some of the affairs of God like intercession and forgiveness has been entrusted to him, then we have considered him as god, of course a small god before a bigger God!

the only verse which bears testimony to this matter. Rather other verses too bear testimony to this fact such as:

إِنَّهُمْ کَانُوا إِذَا قِیلَ لَهُمْ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ یَسْتَکْبِرُونَ

“Surely they used to behave proudly when it was said to them: There is no god but Allah. (Safaat 37:35)

That is to say, they do not pay attention to this talk because they believe in the divinity of other creatures.

أَمْ لَهُمْ إِلَٰهٌ غَیْرُ اللَّهِ ۚ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا یُشْرِکُونَ

“Or have they a god other than Allah? Glory be to Allah from what they set up (with Him). (Tur 52:43)(1)

In the above verse, the basis of polytheism has been shown to be belief in the divinity of someone other than Allah.

الَّذِینَ یَجْعَلُونَ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَٰهًا آخَرَ ۚ فَسَوْفَ یَعْلَمُونَ

“Those who set up another god with Allah; so they shall soon know. (Hejr 15:96)”

وَالَّذِینَ لَا یَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَٰهًا آخَرَ

“And they who do not call upon another god with Allah…. (Furqaan 25:68)”

The proof that the call of the polytheists was along with the belief in divinity of their idols are the following verses:

وَاتَّخَذُوا مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ آلِهَهً لِیَکُونُوا لَهُمْ عِزًّا

“And they have taken gods besides Allah that they should be to them a source of strength. (Maryam 19:81)”

أَئِنَّکُمْ لَتَشْهَدُونَ أَنَّ مَعَ اللَّهِ آلِهَهً أُخْرَیٰ

“Do you really bear witness that there are other gods with Allah? (Ana’am 6:19)”

وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِیمُ لِأَبِیهِ آزَرَ أَتَتَّخِذُ أَصْنَامًا آلِهَهً

“And when Ibrahim said to his sire Azar: Do you take

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1- Also refer to Sura al-Tawba verse 43 and Sura al-Nahl verse 63.

idols for gods? (Ana’am 6:74)”

By referring to the verses that have come down about the polytheism of idol-worshippers, this reality becomes clear that the polytheism of idol-worshippers was the result of their belief in the divinity of their deities and they considered these deities which were man-made ones to be as various gods. They believed that some of the affairs of the great god had been entrusted to them and because of this, they used to worship them.

It was because of their belief in divinity of their idols that whenever they were invited to believe in the One God, they would deny this matter and if a partner was associated with Him they would readily believe just as the following verse confirms so:

ذَٰلِکُمْ بِأَنَّهُ إِذَا دُعِیَ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ کَفَرْتُمْ ۖ وَإِنْ یُشْرَکْ بِهِ تُؤْمِنُوا ۚ فَالْحُکْمُ لِلَّهِ الْعَلِیِّ الْکَبِیرِ

“That is because when Allah alone was called upon, you disbelieved, and when associates were given to Him, you believed, Judgement belongs to Allah, the High, the Great. (Ghafir 40:12)”

When (late) Ayatullah al-Shaykh Muhammad Jawad al-Balaghi comes to the point of analysing and interpreting the reality of ‘ibada in his valuable tafsir called 'Aala al-Rahman explains it as such:

العباده ما یرونه مستشعراً بالخضوع لمن یتخذه الخاضع إلهاً لیُوفیه بذلک ما یراه من حق الإمتیاز بالإلهیه.


'Ibada (worship) is that very action which arises from the humility of a person in front of the One whom he selects as God, so that he fulfils His superior right which

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1- Tafsir Aala al-Rahman, page 57.

He possesses due to His distinguished position (divinity).

Al-Balaghi has described ‘ibada by his own conscience and perception and the afore-mentioned verses clearly confirm and elucidate the correctness and firmness of this description.

The great teacher, Ayatullah Khumayni has written the same view in his valuable book and says: ‘ibada consists of glorifying someone as God either as a major God or a minor god.(1)

The most evident testimony to this view is the observation of the collective verses which speak against polytheism. All the polytheist sects would consider as (God, whether big or small and real or metaphorical) all such creatures whom they would pay homage and worship.

The key to this interpretation lies in this that by referring to the verses, we should clarify the point that means ‘God’ and not ‘deity’ and to be a God it is enough that a being (in the eyes of a worshipper) is the owner of some of the affairs and actions of the Creator God even though he himself may be a created one as was the view of the ignorant Arabs with respect to their idols.

Second Definition of ‘Ibada


Ibadat is humility in front of the one whom we consider as رب (Lord).

We can change our perception of ‘ibada and say: ‘Ibadat’ is a verbal and practical humility that arises from belief in the ربوبیت (Lordship) of the source entity and the word of عبودیت (submission) is in contrast to Lordship.

Whenever a person imagines himself to be a servant

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1- Kashf al-Asrar, page 29.

and slave and the opposite person to be his creator Lord and with this intention, he pays homage to his Lord (whether or not he is his actual Lord) such an action will be considered as ‘Ibadat’.

From the verses mentioned hereunder we can derive this conclusion that ‘Ibadat’ is from the rank of Lordship. Here are some of them:

وَقَالَ الْمَسِیحُ یَا بَنِی إِسْرَائِیلَ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ رَبِّی وَرَبَّکُمْ

“And the Messiah said: O Children of Israel! serve Allah, my Lord and your Lord. (Maida 5:72)”

إِنَّ اللَّهَ رَبِّی وَرَبُّکُمْ فَاعْبُدُوهُ ۗ هَٰذَا صِرَاطٌ مُسْتَقِیمٌ

“Surely Allah is my Lord and your Lord, therefore serve Him, this is the right path. (Aal-Imran 3:51)”

Such contents have come in other verses too. In some of the verses, ‘Ibadat’ is reckoned to be from the rank of خالفیت (creative power) as it says:

ذَٰلِکُمُ اللَّهُ رَبُّکُمْ ۖ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۖ خَالِقُ کُلِّ شَیْءٍ فَاعْبُدُوهُ

“That is Allah, your Lord, there is no god but He, the Creator of all things, therefore serve Him. (An’am 6:102)”

What is meant by رب (Lord)?

In Arabic language, Lord is attributed to the One to whom the management and direction of all things is entrusted and their destiny rests in His authority. If in Arabic, the owner of a house; the nurse of a child and the farmer of a farm are called as Lord, it is because the authority of their management is entrusted to them and their destiny lies in their hand. If we recognize God to be our Lord, it

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is because our entire destiny, right from existence, life, death, sustenance, legislation and forgiveness lies in His hands.

Now if someone imagines that one of the affairs related to our destiny lies in someone else's hand, for example, if God entrusts the affair of life, death, sustenance, legislation and forgiveness to some other person so that the person independently assumes the responsibility of all or one of these positions, we have taken him as Lord. If with this belief, we pay homage to him, we have worshipped him.

In other words, ‘Ibadat’ and worship originates from the feeling of bondage and the reality of bondage is nothing other than taking oneself as slave and the higher authority as the Master of existence, life, death and sustenance or at least the Master and authority of particularly forgiveness,(1) intercession,(2) and enactor of laws and responsibilities.(3) In such a case, he has imagined him to be his Lord and anyone who manifests such feelings either verbally or practically has undoubtedly worshipped him.

Third Definition of ‘ibada

Here we can interpret ‘ibada in a different manner and that is: “‘Ibada is humility in front of the one whom we think as God or the source of divine works”.

There is no doubt that the affairs connected with the world of creation and existence such as, planning of the affairs, bringing to life the human-beings, causing the people to die, giving sustenance to the living creatures and forgiving the sins of the people, are all from God. If you

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1- Aal 'Imran, verse 135.
2- Zumar, verse 44.
3- Tawba, verse 31.

refer to the verses (1) related to planning of the affairs, creation of things, reviving the dead and causing the alive ones to die and other such verses, you will realize that Qur’an recognizes, with emphatic emphasis, all such affairs to be the work of God and strictly prohibits its connection to anyone other than Him.

On the other hand, we know that the world of creation is a well-organized and systematic world and every action which takes place in this world does not occur without the numerous causes which all finally lead to God. On various occasions the holy Qur’an has itself specified the causes of these actions which are the agents of God but act according to the command of God.

For example, Qur’an mentions with special emphasis that the Giver of Life and Death is God. As it says:

وَهُوَ الَّذِی یُحْیِی وَیُمِیتُ وَلَهُ اخْتِلَافُ اللَّیْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ

“And He it is Who gives life and causes death, and (in) His (control) is the alternation of the night and the day. (Mominoon 23:80)”

But the same Qur’an in another verse introduces the Angels to be the Giver of death. It says:

حَتَّیٰ إِذَا جَاءَ أَحَدَکُمُ الْمَوْتُ تَوَفَّتْهُ رُسُلُنَا

“Until when death comes to one of you, Our messengers cause him to die. (An’am 6:61)”

Therefore the way of drawing a conclusion is that we say: The agency and causality of these natural causes whether material or non-material, such as the Angels is by the permission and command of God and the

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1- Qasas verse 73; Sura al-Naml verse 60-64; Sura al-Zumar verse 5-6.

independent executor is God Himself. In other words, these two doers are besides each other, one being an independent doer and the other being a dependent one and this is one of the sublime gnosis of Qur’an which by referring to the numerous verses one can understand the actions of God.

Now if a person reckons the actions of God to be cut off from Him and says that these affairs have been entrusted to splendid creatures like Angles and Prophets and with such a belief, he pays homage and becomes humble in front of them, then certainly his humility is ‘Ibadat’ and his action will amount to polytheism.

In other words, if he believes that God has bestowed the accomplishment of these affairs to them and that they independently fulfil all of them, then in such a case, he has likened them to God. Such a belief is undoubtedly polytheism and any kind of humility or request towards them will be ‘ibada.

As the Qur’an says:

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ یَتَّخِذُ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ أَنْدَادًا یُحِبُّونَهُمْ کَحُبِّ اللَّهِ

“And there are some among men who take for themselves objects of worship besides Allah, whom they love as they love Allah. (Baqarah 2:165)”

No creature can be, to our imagination, the example and like of Allah except if he is independent or has absolute authority in fulfilling one or more affairs. However, if he works by the permission and command of God then not only will he not be likened to Him, but

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also he will be an obedient creature who performs his duty by His command.

Incidentally, the polytheists during the time of the Holy Prophet (s) were of the belief that the gods which they were worshipping had independent powers in fulfilling the affairs.

The lowest kind of belief in the form of polytheism during the period of ignorance was that a group of people were of the belief that the duty of legislation has been entrusted to the monks (1) and ‘intercession’ and ‘forgiveness’ which are specifically the right of Allah have been given to their idols and deities and that they are independent in these actions. Thus the verses which are related to intercession lay great emphasis that nobody can perform intercession without the permission of Allah. (2)

If they were of the belief that their deities could do intercession by the permission of God, then it was needless to emphasize the matter of negation of intercession without the permission of God.

Some of the sages of Greece had imagined a god for everything in this world and thought that the management of these things (which is the action of God) had been entrusted to them. Those ignorant Arabs who used to worship the angels and the fixed and the moving stars were of the opinion that the management of the world of creation had been bestowed upon them i.e. the angels and stars and they were the Masters in managing this world and that God had been completely dethroned from the position

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1- Tawba, verse 31
2- Baqara, verse 255.

of management. (1)

Therefore any kind of humility and bowing down which is accompanied by such a belief will amount to ‘ibada.

Some other group of ignorant Arabs did not consider the wooden and metallic idols to be their Creator and / or the manager of the affairs of this world but regarded them to be the Masters of intercession. They would say:

شُفعاؤُنا عِند اللهِ هؤلاء

“They are our intercessors towards Allah. (Younus 11:18)”

Based on this false belief that they are the Masters of intercession, they worshipped them and thought that their worship was the source of gaining proximity to God. As they say:

ما نعبدهم إلا لیُقربُونا إلی اللهِ زُلفی

“We do not serve them save that they may make us nearly to Allah. (Zumar 39:3)”

In short, any action which originates from such perception that shows some kind of devotion will be taken as ‘ibada. As against this, any action which does not originate from such a belief and any person devoid of such belief exhibits his humility before someone and honours him then it will not be ‘ibada and polytheism even though the action may be forbidden.

For example, the prostration of a lover before his beloved one or of a slave before his master or of a wife before her husband etc, are not ‘ibada even though it is forbidden in the religion of Islam. This is because no one can prostrate (even if it does not amount to such ‘ibada) before anyone without the permission of Allah.

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1- al-Milal wa al-nihal, vol. 2. page 244.

Conclusion of Our Discussion

Up to this point, we were able to acquaint you clearly with the reality of ‘ibada. Now it is necessary to derive a conclusion from the foregoing discussion. If someone becomes humble and shows humility in front of someone else without considering them as God or lord or the source of divine acts but respects them because of the fact that they are:

عِبَادٌ مُّکْرَمُونَ لَا یَسْبِقُونَهُ بِالْقَوْلِ وَهُم بِأَمْرِهِ یَعْمَلُونَ

“They are honoured servants, they do not precede Him in speech and (only) according to His commandment do they act,” then surely, such an act shows nothing but honour respect, humility and humbleness. (Anbiya 21:26)”

God has introduced a group of His servants with such qualities that will attract the interest of every person towards honouring and respecting them. As the holy Qur’an says:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ اصْطَفَیٰ آدَمَ وَنُوحًا وَآلَ إِبْرَاهِیمَ وَآلَ عِمْرَانَ عَلَی الْعَالَمِینَ

“Surely Allah chose Adam and Nuh and the descendants of Ibrahim and the descendants of 'Imran above the nations. (Aal-Imran 3:33)”

Almighty Allah (by specification of Qur’an) has appointed Ibrahim to the position of imama and leadership:

قال إنی جاعلک للناس إماماً

“…..He said, Surely I will make you an Imam of men….. (Baqarah 2:124)”

Almighty Allah has described Nuh, Ibrahim, Dawud, Sulayman, Musa, 'Isa and Muhammad in the Holy Qur’an with such sublime qualities that each of these qualities is the source of attraction for the hearts to such extent that the love of some of them has been made compulsory. (1)

If the people respect and honour these

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1- Shura, verse 23:

servants in their life-time and even after their death from this viewpoint that they are the honourable servants of Allah and without recognizing them as God or imagining them to be the source of divine affairs, then such respect will never be considered as 'ibada and no one can call them as polytheists.

As you are all well-informed, following the Holy Prophet's custom, we respect and sanctify Hajar al-'Aswad which is no more than a black stone; we circumambulate around the House of God which is no more than stone and mud and strive between the two mountains named Safa and Marwa. That is to say, we perform the same actions which the idol-worshippers used to perform with regards to their idols. Under these circumstances, no one till now has thought that by these actions we are worshipping the stones and mud because we never imagine the least benefit or harm from them.

However, if we perform these actions with this belief that these stones and mountains are God and are the source of divine works, then in such a case, we will be equal to the idol-worshippers. Therefore, kissing the hands of the Holy Prophet (s) and Imams; master or teacher; parents or kissing Qur’an, religious books, shrines and all other things which are related to the honourable servants of Allah will only be an expression of respect and honour except that if we believe in their divinity or lordship.

The prostration of angels before Adam and prostration of

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brothers of Yusuf in front of Yusuf has come in the Holy Qur’an. (1)

No one interprets the action of the angels or the action of the brothers of Yusuf as 'ibada of Adam or Yusuf. The point is that the prostrators did not consider the least position of ‘divinity’ or ‘lordship’ for the prostrated ones and never did they take them as God nor the source of divine actions. Therefore, their actions were purely an expression of respect and not 'ibada or worship.

When the Wahhabis are faced with such verses they at once say: “The reason that these actions were not prostration of the prostrated ones was that it was performed by the command of God.”

Although it is true that all these actions together with the action of brothers of Yusuf in front of Yusuf was by the command and satisfaction of Allah, yet the Wahhabis are heedless of one point and it is this that the very essence of their action (i.e. prostration) too was not 'ibada. And it was due to this that God commanded for that action.

If the reality of the action amounted to worship of the prostrated one, then God would have never ordered it.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا یَأْمُرُ بِالْفَحْشَاءِ ۖ أَتَقُولُونَ عَلَی اللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

“Say: Surely Allah does not enjoin indecency, do you say against Allah what you do not know? (Araf 7:28)”

In short, the order and command of God does not change the essence of action. Before the command

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1- Baqara, verse 34 and Yusuf, verse 100.

of God, the essence or nature of action should be non-'ibada; then only the command of God will pertain to it. It can never be imagined that the ‘essence’ of one action is 'ibada but due to the command of God in performing that action it automatically becomes non-'ibada. This reply which we have repeatedly heard from the Wahhabi leaders in Mecca and Medina shows that they have closed the doors in their analysis of Qur’anic teachings.

'Ibada has an independent essence and concept for itself which is sometimes commanded for and sometimes prohibited. That is to say, an affair which in its essence is 'ibada, is ordered by God such as salat and fasting and sometimes prohibits it for example fasting on the day of Eid. Whenever the prostration of angels and sons of Ya'qub ('a) is, in its essence, 'ibada of Adam and Yusuf, then ordering for its performance will not change it to non-'ibada.

The Basis of Solving the Dispute

Respected readers should realize that the basis of solving most of the controversial matters between the Wahhabis and us lies in analysing the concept of 'ibada and unless and until 'ibada is not interpreted in logical terms and we cannot reach to an agreement with an impartial person with regards to it and any kind of talk or discussion will be useless.

Therefore, a person of research should deeply study and investigate this matter (more than what we have mentioned) and should not be deceived by the interpretation of most of the dictionaries which

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often intend to give an abstract explanation of a word and not its actual analysis. In this regard, pondering over the verses is the best guidance.

Unfortunately, all the Wahhabi writers and some of those writers who wish to refute their beliefs have given greater importance to secondary matters rather than laying emphasis on this point.

To sum up, a Wahabi says:

“Most of the actions which you perform with regard to the Holy Prophet (s) or Imam is 'ibada and necessarily results in polytheism in worship”. For this reason we have to disarm him with the precise interpretation of the word of 'ibada.

For making clear our objective, we shall now bring examples of those actions which the Wahhabis show to be worshipping of the dead. We remind you that all of them like our other ordinary actions, can be fulfilled in two ways: Either it will be counted as Ibadat or not.

1. Seeking intercession from the Holy Prophet (s) and the virtuous ones.

2. Asking for shifa’ (cure) from the awliya Allah.

3. Request for fulfilling one's need from the divine leaders.

4. Respecting and honouring the one in grave.

5. Seeking help from the Holy Prophet (s) and others.

They say: Shafa'a (intercession) by decree of the verse

قُل لله الشفاعه جمیعاً

is from the actions of Allah just as shifa’ is from the actions of Allah,

وإذا مرِضتُ فهو یشفین

and asking or requesting from the actions of Allah from someone other than Him will amount to his worship.

Here, it is

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necessary to interpret the Actions of Allah and mention what are the Actions of Allah?

The reply to this is as such: “Any kind of shafa’a and shifa’ of the sick which the doer is independent in fulfilling them (not that he has achieved this privilege from somewhere and that he is in need of the strength and power of some superior being) will be counted as the Divine Action.

To request such an action from anyone is accompanied with the belief in his ‘divinity’ and ‘lordship’ and naturally will amount to 'ibada and worship.

However, if seeking shafa'a and shifa’ from someone is not accompanied with this belief but rather, the person seeking shafa'a reckons the intercessor to be a doer who while being a servant of Allah, relies on a superior power in his actions and affairs and accomplishes them by His Wish and Will, then in such a case making a request will not be accompanied with the belief in ‘divinity’ and ‘lordship’.

The same explanation prevails for the matter of request for fulfilment of needs and or asking for help from someone other than Allah.

Request for fulfilment of needs has two forms: one of them may be reckoned to be Ibada and the second to be having no relation with 'ibada. This explanation is not only a limit of demarcation between 'ibada and non-'ibada concerning this action but is a general rule which separates monotheism and polytheism from each other in all the causes and

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The belief in the effect of anti-biotics in killing the microbes and curing the sick can be one of the two ways. If we imagine it to be independent in life and existence or independent in its action and effect and reckon it to be needless in a superior being (i.e Allah) then in such a case we have imagined it as a small god which is independent in its actions. And if we unknowingly respect and honour it, we have considered it as Allah and our actions will be 'ibada. And asking any help from it will be shirk and amount to worshiping it.

However, if we consider it as a possible being whose life, effects and actions are dependent on a superior one and a being which gives life and does not accomplish any task without His Wise Will, then our belief will be exactly tawhid. (la muathar fil Wujud illa hua). In the realm of existence no one is effective except Him.

Thus we have reminded you that the solution to the disputes and the disarming the opposite person in most of the matters concerning monotheism (tawhid) and polytheism (shirk) is dependent on the analysis of 'ibada and sometimes the meaning of ‘divinity’ and ‘lordship’ and understanding the Divine actions.

Incidentally, the actions of the ignorant Arabs were linked all in all with the belief in the divinity and lordship of the idols and they considered them as the absolute authority in some of the divine

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actions. They believed that God had handed over the reins of these affairs to them and if they wished, they could give intercession to any one or can reject intercession of anyone they wished so.

This is the abstract of our discussion. For a more detailed explanation interested readers can refer to the books of:

1. معالم التوحید (Ma'alim al-tawhid) and

2. التوحید والشرک فی القرءان (al-Tawhid wa al-shirk fi al-Qur'an).

Seeking Help From Awliya Allah During Their Lifetime


The request for something from the ‘Awliya Allah’ takes place in various ways which we shall mention as under:

1. We request a living personality to assist us in building a house or ask him to quench our thirst by handing over the vessel of water which lies next to him.

2. We request a living personality to pray for us and seek forgiveness for us from God.

Both these cases are common, in that, we ask the person to do a work that is fully within his natural capability to fulfil it. However, the first request is related to the worldly affair and the second one to religious and heavenly affair.

3. We request a living personality to perform a task without utilising any common and natural means. For example, we ask him to cure the sick without treatment, find our lost one or repay our debt.

In other words, we ask him to fulfil our needs through miracle or wonder without having recourse to the ordinary and natural tools.

4. The person whom we ask is not alive

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but since we believe that he is alive in another abode and is receiving his sustenance, we request from such a person to pray for us.

5. We request from such a person to cure our sick and find our lost ones and through utilising the spiritual powers bestowed upon him by Allah.

These two cases, similar to the second and third one are a request to a living person except that in those cases, the responsible authority is alive in this physical and material world and in these last two cases the responsible authority is physically dead but in reality is alive. We can never request from such a person to help us in the material affairs through the ordinary channels. This is because it is presumed that he has left this world and he is cut off from the normal channels of this world.

In this way, there are five types amongst which, three of them are related to request from the living ones in the material world and two are related to the living ones in another world.

We shall discuss in this chapter, request to a living person in the material world and discuss in the next chapter, request (for help) to the awliya Allah who are living in another world.

Here is the description of each of the three cases of the first type:

First Case

Requesting for work and help from a living person in the ordinary affairs of life which have natural and ordinary causes,

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forms the basis of human civilization. The life of human beings is established in this material world on the basis of cooperation. All those in this world, who possess intellect, seek mutual assistance in their worldly affairs. This matter is so obvious that nobody has ever found fault with it and because our discussion is based on Qur’an and traditions, we shall restrain ourselves at this point by quoting a verse. Zul-Qarnain while building the dam against the oppression of Ya'juj and Ma’juj turned towards the people of that place and said:

فَأَعِینُونِی بِقُوَّهٍ أَجْعَلْ بَیْنَکُمْ وَبَیْنَهُمْ رَدْمًا

“Thus you only help me with workers; I will make a fortified barrier between you and them. (Kahf 18:95)”

Second Case

Requesting someone to pray for good or seeking forgiveness from living persons in this material world; the correctness and firmness of such a request from the living is from the necessities related to the Holy Qur’an. Anyone having a little acquaintance with the Holy Qur’an is aware that the ways of the Prophets was to seek forgiveness for their ummah (nation) and or the ummah themselves were placing such a request before the Prophets. Now we shall bring here all the verses which have come down in this regard.

Of course, the verses concerning this section are of several categories where, for the sake of simplicity of the matter, we shall number them as follows:

(1) Sometimes, God orders His Prophet to seek forgiveness for his people such as:

فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ وَشَاوِرْهُمْ

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فِی الْأَمْرِ

“Pardon them therefore and ask pardon for them, and take counsel with them in the affair. (Aal-e-Imran 3:159)”

فَبَایِعْهُنَّ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُنَّ اللَّهَ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِیمٌ

“Accept their pledge, and ask forgiveness for them from Allah, surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (Mumtahena 60:12)”

خُذْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ صَدَقَهً تُطَهِّرُهُمْ وَتُزَکِّیهِمْ بِهَا وَصَلِّ عَلَیْهِمْ ۖ إِنَّ صَلَاتَکَ سَکَنٌ لَهُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِیعٌ عَلِیمٌ

“Take alms out of their property, you would cleanse them and purify them thereby, and pray for them, surely your prayer is a relief to them, and Allah is Hearing, Knowing. (Tauba 9:103)”

In this verse, Allah directly commands the Holy Prophet (s) to pray for them and the effect of his prayers is so quick that one feels comfort in one's heart after the prayers of the Holy Prophet (s).

(2) Sometimes, the Prophets themselves used to promise the sinners that they would seek forgiveness for them under special circumstances.

For example:

إِلَّا قَوْلَ إِبْرَاهِیمَ لِأَبِیهِ لَأَسْتَغْفِرَنَّ لَکَ

“But not in what Ibrahim said to his father: I would certainly ask forgiveness for you, (Mumtahena 60:4)”

سَأَسْتَغْفِرُ لَکَ رَبِّی ۖ إِنَّهُ کَانَ بِی حَفِیًّا

“I will pray to my Lord to forgive you, surely He is ever kind to me, (Maryam 19:47)”

وَمَا کَانَ اسْتِغْفَارُ إِبْرَاهِیمَ لِأَبِیهِ إِلَّا عَنْ مَوْعِدَهٍ وَعَدَهَا إِیَّاهُ

“And Ibrahim asking forgiveness for his sire was only owing to a promise which he had made to him. (Tauba 9:114)”

This verses show that the Prophets used to promise and give glad tidings to the sinners just as Ibrahim

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too had given such glad tidings to Azar. But when he saw him persisting in idol-worshiping, he stopped from seeking forgiveness for him because, one of the conditions for acceptance of prayers is that the person for whom the forgiveness is sought should be a monotheist and not a polytheist.

(3). Allah commands a group of sinful believers to approach the Holy Prophet (s) for seeking forgiveness from Allah and to request the Prophet (s) to seek forgiveness on their behalf and if the Prophet (s) seeks forgiveness for them, then Allah would forgive their sins.

وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذْ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ جَاءُوکَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا اللَّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُوا اللَّهَ تَوَّابًا رَحِیمًا

“And had they, when they were unjust to themselves, come to you and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Apostle had (also) asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Oft returning, Merciful. (Nisa 4:64)”

Which verse can be clearer than this one where Allah orders the sinful ummah to approach the Holy Prophet (s) for acquiring the forgiveness of Allah and requesting him to pray for them? Going to the Holy Prophet (s) and asking for forgiveness has two obvious benefits:

(A) Requesting for forgiveness from the Holy Prophet (s) enlivens the essence of obedience to the Prophet in sinful persons and due to their feeling of the Holy Prophet's position, they will sincerely follow and obey the Holy Prophet (s).

Basically, such goings and comings creates a special state of humility in a person towards the Holy Prophet (s)

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and prepares him to sincerely act upon the verse of:

أطیعوا الله وأطیعوا الرسول

“Obey Allah and obey the Apostle. (Nisa 4:59)”

(B) This action clearly illustrates the position and status of the Holy Prophet (s) in the minds of the ummah and makes them understand that just as the material bounties are received through special means by the servants of God, the spiritual bounties which is the same forgiveness of Allah, is received through fixed channels such as the du'a of the Holy Prophet (s) and His beloved ones.

If the sun is the cause of flow of calories, heat and energy and these benefits are received by the people through the sun then in the same way the spiritual bounties and divine grace is received through the sun of risala (messengership) and the universe in both the stages is the world of cause and causation and the material and spiritual bounties in both the worlds are received through (some) cause.

(4) Some of the verses indicate that the Muslims were frequently approaching the Holy Prophet (s) and requesting him to pray for them. Thus, when the Muslims were advising the hypocrites to do the same, they were met with refusal and denial. As Qur’an says

وَإِذَا قِیلَ لَهُمْ تَعَالَوْا یَسْتَغْفِرْ لَکُمْ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ لَوَّوْا رُءُوسَهُمْ وَرَأَیْتَهُمْ یَصُدُّونَ وَهُمْ مُسْتَکْبِرُونَ

“And when it is said to them: Come the Apostle of Allah will ask forgiveness for you, they turn back their heads and you may see them turning away while they are big

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with pride. (Munafiqun 63:5)”

(5) Some of the verses bear witness to the fact that the people, by inspiration from their pure innate nature, were aware that the prayers of the Holy Prophet (s) for them in the court of God had a special effect and were surely acceptable. For this reason, they would approach the Prophet and request him to seek forgiveness from Allah on their behalf.

The pure nature of man was a sort of inspiration for him that the divine bounties are received by the people through the Prophets, just as they receive the divine guidance through the Prophets. Therefore they were approaching the Prophets and requesting them to pray for their forgiveness before God.

Here is a verse about this matter:

قَالُوا یَا أَبَانَا اسْتَغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا إِنَّا کُنَّا خَاطِئِینَ {97}

قَالَ سَوْفَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ لَکُمْ رَبِّی ۖ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِیمُ {98}

“They said: O our father! ask forgiveness of our faults for us, surely we were sinners. He said: I will ask for you forgiveness from my Lord, surely He is the Forgiving, the Merciful. (Yusuf 12:97 98)”

(6) Verses which notify the Prophet (s) that seeking forgiveness for the hypocrites who still persist in their idol-worshipping will bear no result. This verse is one kind of exception to the previous verses and shows that other than this instance, the prayers of a Prophet has a special effect as mentioned in the following verses

إِنْ تَسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ سَبْعِینَ مَرَّهً فَلَنْ یَغْفِرَ اللَّهُ لَهُمْ

“Even if you ask forgiveness for them

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seventy times, Allah will not forgive them. (Tauba 9:79)”

سَوَاءٌ عَلَیْهِمْ أَسْتَغْفَرْتَ لَهُمْ أَمْ لَمْ تَسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ لَنْ یَغْفِرَ اللَّهُ لَهُمْ

“It is alike to them whether you beg forgiveness for them or do not beg forgiveness for them, Allah will never forgive them. (Munafiqun 63:6)”

وَلَمَّا وَقَعَ عَلَیْهِمُ الرِّجْزُ قَالُوا یَا مُوسَی ادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّکَ بِمَا عَهِدَ عِنْدَکَ ۖ لَئِنْ کَشَفْتَ عَنَّا الرِّجْزَ لَنُؤْمِنَنَّ لَکَ وَلَنُرْسِلَنَّ مَعَکَ بَنِی إِسْرَائِیلَ

“And when the plague fell upon them, they said: O Musa! pray for us to your Lord as he has promised with you, if you remove the plague from us, we will certainly believe in you and we will certainly send away with you the children of Israel. (Araf 7:134)”

Here the sinners are asking Musa bin 'Imran to pray for them and according to the sentence بما بما عهد عندکthey were aware that God had bestowed such a promise to Musa.

If the sentence ادع لنا ربک is a testimony to this point that the nation wanted Musa (‘a) to avert the punishment and they also traced in him the power of doing so, then in such a case, this verse will be an evidence for the third instance (Is it correct or not to ask the Prophets to perform some extraordinary acts by means of their divine powers?) But the sentence ادع لنا ربک makes this probability weak because, this sentence apparently shows that the work of Musa was only ‘to pray’ and not to dominate in this world and avert punishments.

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Therefore the verse is related to this same instance.

That the prayers of Kalimullah Ibrahim (‘a) with regard to the polytheists were not accepted has not been specified in this verse but in some other verses.

(7) Verses which show that a group of believers were always praying for another group of believers such as,

وَالَّذِینَ جَاءُوا مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ یَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلِإِخْوَانِنَا الَّذِینَ سَبَقُونَا بِالْإِیمَانِ

“And those who come after them say: Our Lord! forgive us and those of our brethren who had precedence of faith. (Hashr 59:10)”

(8) It is not only they who pray for the believers but the carriers of 'arsh (throne) and those besides them too, seek forgiveness for the believers. As the Holy Qur’an says:

الَّذِینَ یَحْمِلُونَ الْعَرْشَ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهُ یُسَبِّحُونَ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَیُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ وَیَسْتَغْفِرُونَ لِلَّذِینَ آمَنُوا رَبَّنَا وَسِعْتَ کُلَّ شَیْءٍ

رَحْمَهً وَعِلْمًا فَاغْفِرْ لِلَّذِینَ تَابُوا وَاتَّبَعُوا سَبِیلَکَ وَقِهِمْ عَذَابَ الْجَحِیمِ

“Those who bear the power and those around Him celebrate the praise of their Lord and believe in Him and ask protection for those who believe: Our Lord! Thou embracest all things in mercy and knowledge, therefore grant protection to those who turn (to Thee) and follow Thy way, and save them from the punishment of the hell. (Ghafer 40:7)”

Therefore, how good it is that we too, follow this God-loving practise of this group and always seek forgiveness for the believers.

Till here, the decree of two out of the five cases of seeking help from someone other than Allah has been clarified from the

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viewpoint of Qur’an and out of the three cases pertaining to seeking help from a living person only one case has remained to which we shall now refer.

Third Case

We seek help from a living person who has power over extraordinary affairs and ask him to perform an act through extra ordinary ways, examples include, curing the sick, making a spring flow, and other things through a miracle.

Some of the Islamic writers reckon this kind of request to be the same as the second case and say that the aim (of the person making the request) is only to ask them to request Allah to cure his sickness, to repay his loan, etc, etc. This is because such works are the works of Allah and since the channel (of such works) is the du'a of the Prophet and Imams, the work of God is metaphorically attributed to the person reciting the du'a. (1)

However, the verses of Qur’an clearly testify that asking the prophets for fulfilment of such actions is absolutely correct and is not something metaphorical. That is to say, we sincerely want ma'sum (the inerrant) to do us a favour and / or through the door of miracle, cure our incurable diseases by the divine strength and power.

It is true that Qur’an attributes shifa’ (cure) to God and says:

وإذا مرِضت فهو یشفین

“And when I am sick, then He restores me to health. (Shuara 42:80)”

But in other verses, Qur’an ascribes shifa’ (cure) to honey, or even

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1- Kashf al-'Irtiyaab, page 274.

to Quran itself, such as:

یَخْرُجُ مِنْ بُطُونِهَا شَرَابٌ مُخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهُ فِیهِ شِفَاءٌ لِلنَّاسِ

“There comes forth from within it a beverage of many colours, in which there is cure for men. (Nahl 16:69)”

ونُنزل من القرءان ما هُو شفاء ورحمه للمؤمنین

“And We reveal of the Qur’an that which is a healing and a mercy to the believers. (Bani-Israel 7:82)”

قَدْ جَاءَتْکُمْ مَوْعِظَهٌ مِنْ رَبِّکُمْ وَشِفَاءٌ لِمَا فِی الصُّدُورِ

“There has come to you indeed an admonition from your Lord and a cure for what is in the breasts. (Yunus 12:57)”

The way of reconciling these two set of verses (confinement and earmarking of shifa’ to Allah and its verification for honey, the Qur’an and the divine admonitions) is this that Allah is ‘efficient independently’ and is self-dependent whereas other agents are effective by the permission of Allah and are dependent upon Him.

In Islamic world view and philosophy, all the factors and elements are the causative act of Allah and the causes are not having the least independence in themselves. Therefore, from the logical viewpoint and Qur’anic verses, there cannot be any objection to the fact that the same God Who has placed the power of cure in honey and has bestowed the power of cure and recovery in the chemical and herbal medicines gives the same power and ability to the Prophets and Imams.

If the meditators can acquire great spiritual powers through asceticism then what is wrong if due to Divine Grace or man's devotion and servitude, God grants them power

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and ability so that under special circumstances, they are able to perform the astounding acts without the natural means. (1)

Shifa' bestowed by the Prophet and Imams and performing the extraordinary acts is not inconsistent with this that the actual ‘Shaaf'ee’ (curer), the true finder of the lost one, etc. is Allah Who has given these agents power and strength so that they can, by His permission, control the affairs of this world.

Incidentally, the verses of Qur’an bear testimony that the people wanted and expected such acts from the Prophets and sometimes from others too. Here we shall mention some of them.

The following mentioned verse reveals that Bani Israel requested water from their Prophet during the year of famine and that too, not through natural channels, but through some extraordinary means. They did not say: ‘you pray so that God sends water for us’ but said: ‘you satiate us and give us water’. As the verse says:

وَأَوْحَیْنَا إِلَیٰ مُوسَیٰ إِذِ اسْتَسْقَاهُ قَوْمُهُ أَنِ اضْرِبْ بِعَصَاکَ الْحَجَرَ

“And We revealed to Musa when his people asked him for water: Strike the rock with your staff. (Araf 7:160)”

A clearer verse to this one is the verse which speaks about Sulayman ('a) asking those present in the gathering to bring the throne of Bilqis which was hundreds of miles away and un-free from barriers and obstacles.

أَیُّکُمْ یَأْتِینِی بِعَرْشِهَا قَبْلَ أَنْ یَأْتُونِی مُسْلِمِینَ

“Which of you can bring to me her throne before they come to me in submission? (Naml 27:38)”


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1- For explanation of this part and acquaintance with the verses of Qur’an refer to the book of ‘Spiritual powers of Prophets’. In this book, you will find references from Qur’an about their spiritual powers

aim was to bring the throne of Bilqis through extraordinary means as indicated by the replies given by Afrit and ‘Asif Barkhia which have come down in Sura al-Namal verses 39 and 40.

The most significant point is that people imagine that simple and ordinary works are not Divine acts and the extraordinary ones which are not within the scope of ordinary people are the work of Allah.

Actually, the measure of divine and non-divine acts is the matter of independence and non-independence. The divine act is one in which the doer performs the act independently without seeking the help of any power and source. In other words, the divine acts are those in which the doer is the absolute authority in performing that action and is dependent on Himself and no one else.

However, the non-divine acts, whether simple and ordinary or difficult and unusual, are those acts wherein the doer is not independent in performing that action but does so under the influence and help of an independent power.

Therefore, there is no objection to this fact that Allah bestows upon His beloved ones, the power to perform extraordinary acts which are not within the scope of ordinary people and there is no objection if we too request them to perform such acts.

The Holy Qur’an addresses 'Isa (‘a) very explicitly and says:

وَتُبْرِئُ الْأَکْمَهَ وَالْأَبْرَصَ بِإِذْنِی ۖ وَإِذْ تُخْرِجُ الْمَوْتَیٰ بِإِذْنِی

“And you healed the blind and the leprous by My permission, and when you brought forth

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the dead by My permission. (Maida 5:110)”

The total sum of these verses shows that the divine leaders possessed such powers and that requesting extraordinary works from them was a common practice and Qur’an too bears testimony to the rightness of such requests.

Till here, the decree of all the three cases of asking from the living ones has been clarified from the viewpoint of Qur’an and we saw that verses of Qur’an have clearly approved their legitimacy.

It is now time to clarify the decree of the remaining two cases (i.e. asking from the holy spirits) from the viewpoint of Qur’an and traditions (hadiths). We shall discuss this in the next chapter.

Seeking Help From The Spirits of Awliya Allah


The most important issue with regards to seeking help from the awliya Allah (the friends or beloved of Allah) is when they have died or so to say, living in another world, whether this act of seeking help is in the form of du'a (invocation) or asking for some extraordinary acts to be performed. This is because the Muslims of today are not in the presence of the Holy Prophet (s) or an Imam so that they can approach them and ask them to do something in their presence. Rather, most often, their questions and requests are put before the pure spirits of the Prophets and awliya. For this reason, analysing the Islamic decree with regards to these two situations is very important.

Investigation on this matter depends on the analytical study of four topics and

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by becoming fully aware of them, one can acknowledge the correctness of such imploration and beseeching. These four topics are:

1. Eternity of soul and spirit of man after death

2. The reality of man is his very soul and spirit

3. Relationship with the world of souls is possible

4. The correct traditions which the Islamic traditionists have narrated bear witness to the authenticity of such implorations and the practise of the Muslims has been the same in all the ages. Now we shall describe each of these four topics.

1. Death is not Annihilation of Man


The verses of Qur’an bear a clear witness to the fact that death is not the end of life but a window for a new life. By passing from this passage, man steps into a new life, a world completely new to him and much superior than this material world.

Those who take death to be the end of life and believe that with death, everything of man is finished and nothing remains of him except one lifeless body which (even that) after some time is changed to soil and destroyed, follow the philosophy of materialism.

Such a reflection shows that a person with such a view thinks life to be nothing but a part of material effects of the organs of body and the physical and chemical reactions of the brain and nerves and with the subsiding of the heat of body and stoppage of the cells from activity and production, the life of man comes to a halt and he turns

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into an inanimate object. Soul and spirit in this school of thought is nothing but reflection of materialism and its properties and with the nullification of these properties and domination of reciprocal effects of the organs of body over each other, the soul and spirit become completely void and there no longer remains anything by the name of spirit, its eternity and a world related to spirits.

Such a view about the soul and spirit of man is inspired by the principles of Materialism. In this school of thought, man is nothing more than a machine where he is formed from different tools and implements and the reciprocal effects of those components give the power of thought and perception to the brain, and with the dispersion of these components the effects of thought, perception and in short, life gets completely destroyed at death.

The views of materialists about soul and spirit were completely discarded by the great philosophers of the world and the divine scholars. The theologians believe that apart from the material system of body, the nervous system and its reciprocal material reactions there exists for man, a real substance by the name of soul and spirit which remains with the body for some period and then cuts off its relation with the body and lives in a special world with a much more delicate body. The continuity of soul after the death of a person is not a matter which can be established and proved in these pages

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because today the eternity of soul and spirit has been proven by verses of Qur’an, precise philosophical reasoning and convincing spiritual experiences. We shall now narrate the verses of Qur’an that bear testimony to the matter of eternity of spirit after death.

Qur’an and Eternity of Spirits

Verses of the Qur’an clearly indicate that the spirit continues to live after its separation from the body. For the sake of brevity, we bring here only the text of the verses and postpone its analysis for some other proper time.

وَلَا تَقُولُوا لِمَنْ یُقْتَلُ فِی سَبِیلِ اللَّهِ أَمْوَاتٌ ۚ بَلْ أَحْیَاءٌ وَلَٰکِنْ لَا تَشْعُرُونَ

“And do not speak of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead, nay, (they are) alive, but you do not perceive. (Baqarah 2:154)”

وَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِینَ قُتِلُوا فِی سَبِیلِ اللَّهِ أَمْوَاتًا ۚ بَلْ أَحْیَاءٌ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ یُرْزَقُونَ

“And reckon not those who are killed in Allah's way as dead, nay, they are alive (and) are provided sustenance from their Lord. (Aal-Imran 3:169)”

فَرِحِینَ بِمَا آتَاهُمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ وَیَسْتَبْشِرُونَ بِالَّذِینَ لَمْ یَلْحَقُوا بِهِمْ

“Rejoicing in what Allah has given them out of His grace, and they rejoice for the sake of those who, (being left) behind them, have not yet joined them. (Aal-Imran 3:170)”

یَسْتَبْشِرُونَ بِنِعْمَهٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَفَضْلٍ

“They rejoice on account of favour from Allah and (His) grace. (Aal-Imran 3:171)”

إِنِّی آمَنْتُ بِرَبِّکُمْ فَاسْمَعُونِ {25}

قِیلَ ادْخُلِ الْجَنَّهَ ۖ قَالَ یَا لَیْتَ قَوْمِی یَعْلَمُونَ {26}

بِمَا غَفَرَ لِی رَبِّی وَجَعَلَنِی مِنَ الْمُکْرَمِینَ {27}

“Surely I believe in your Lord, there for hear me. It was said: Enter the

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garden. He said: O would that my people had known of that on account of which my Lord has forgiven me and made me of the honoured ones! (Yasin 36:25-27)”

The Paradise which he is told to enter therein is the Paradise of barzakh and not of the Hereafter because he wishes that his people knew and were aware that God has forgiven and honoured him. Such a wish is not compatible with the world of the Hereafter, where the curtains will be removed from the eyes of the people and their condition will not be hidden from each other. Rather such unawareness is befitting with this world where the people of this abode are unaware of the condition of the people living in another world (barzakh) and the verse of Qur’an bears witness to this fact.

Moreover, the next verse clarifies that after his death, when man is forgiven and he enters the Paradise, the light of his people's life will be extinguished by one heavenly cry. As verse says:

وَمَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَیٰ قَوْمِهِ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ مِنْ جُنْدٍ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَمَا کُنَّا مُنْزِلِینَ {28}

إِنْ کَانَتْ إِلَّا صَیْحَهً وَاحِدَهً فَإِذَا هُمْ خَامِدُونَ {29}

“And We did not send down upon his people after him any hosts from heaven, nor do We ever send down. It was naught but a single cry, and lo! they were still. (Yasin 36:28-29)”

From these two verses we come to know that after entering Paradise, his people were still living in this world till death suddenly overtook them

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and, this Paradise cannot be anything other than Paradise of barzakh.

النار یُعرضون علیها عدًواً وعشیاً ویوم تقوم الساعه ادخِلوا أل فرعون أشد العذاب

“The fire, they shall be brought before it (every) morning and evening and on the day when the hour shall come to pass: Make Firawn's people enter the severest chastisement. (Momin 23:46)”

By paying attention to the contents of the two verses, the matter of continuity of life in the world of barzakh becomes clear and obvious because, before the approach of qiyama, the Fire will be presented to them morning and evening but after the qiyama they will be given the worst punishment.

If the later part of the verse ویوم تقوم الساعه was not there, then the beginning contents would not have been so clear. But by paying attention to the verse it becomes obvious that the objective is the same period of barzakh; otherwise the reciprocity of the two sentences would have been incorrect.

Moreover, the matter of morning and evening too bears witness that it does not refer to the world of the Hereafter since, mornings and evenings do not exist in that world.

So far, the first of the four topics has been made clear from the viewpoint of Qur’an. Now it’s time to refer to the second topic.

2. The Reality of Man is his very Spirit

Man in the outset seems to be formed of body and spirit. However, the reality of man is his same spirit which is accompanied with the body.

We shall not discuss this matter

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from the view point of philosophy and at present we are not concerned with the Greek and Islamic philosophy. Rather we shall discuss this matter only from the viewpoint of Qur’an.

By examining the verses that have come down with regards to man, this fact can easily be seen that the reality of man is his very soul and spirit. Here, we shall ponder over the contents of this verse:

قُلْ یَتَوَفَّاکُمْ مَلَکُ الْمَوْتِ الَّذِی وُکِّلَ بِکُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَیٰ رَبِّکُمْ تُرْجَعُونَ

“Say: The angel of death who is given charge of you shall cause you to die, and then to your Lord you shall be brought back. (Sajdah 32:11)”

Contrary to what we believe, the word of توفیّ does not mean ‘to cause to die’. Rather it means ‘to take’ or ‘to seize’. (1)

Therefore, the purpose of the sentence یتوفاکمً is: “He will seize you all”. When the reality of man is his very soul and spirit, the interpretation of the verse will be correct.

However, if the soul and spirit forms a portion of man’s personality and the other half is formed by his external body, then in such a case such an interpretation will not be permissible because the Angel of Death never seizes our external body. Rather, the body remains in its same condition and what the Angel seizes is only our soul.

The verses which clarify the reality of soul and spirit with regards to man are not confined to this verse and as an example; we content ourselves

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1- Allama Balaghi has a valuable research about the word of توفیّin his introduction to Tafsir Aala al-Rahman”, page 34.

with one verse.

This fact that ‘the reality of man and centre of his spiritual excellences is his very spirit and the body is (only) a covering which has been put over it’ becomes evidently clear by paying attention to the matter of eternity of spirit after death which was discussed in the first topic. Qur’an does not recognise death to be the annihilation of man and the end of his life.

Rather, it believes that life exists for the martyrs, the pious and the oppressors before the approach of qiyama, a life accompanied with joy and happiness, (or) accompanied with torment and punishment and if the reality of man is his fundamental body then, undoubtedly the body gets destroyed after a few days and changes to different elements and in such a case the matter of eternity of man or the life of barzakh becomes meaningless.

3. Qur’an and the Possibility of Connection with another World


Proving eternity of spirit is not enough for the purpose of recommending and proving (beseeching) to be useful. Rather, apart from its eternity, the possibility of establishing relationship with it should be proved from the viewpoint of reason and Qur’an.

We have talked about this matter in detail in the book ‘Originality of the Spirit’.

Here, we shall mention in brief, some of those verses which prove that the relationship of man continues with his past ones and is not yet disconnected.

A) Salih ('a) Speaks with the Souls of His People

فَعَقَرُوا النَّاقَهَ وَعَتَوْا عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهِمْ وَقَالُوا یَا صَالِحُ ائْتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَا إِنْ کُنْتَ مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِینَ

“So they slew the she-camel

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and revolted against their Lord's commandment, and they said: O Salih! Bring us what you threatened us with, if you are one of the apostles. (Araf 7:77)”

فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الرَّجْفَهُ فَأَصْبَحُوا فِی دَارِهِمْ جَاثِمِینَ

“Then the earthquake overtook them, so they became motionless bodies in their abode. (Araf 7:78)” (1)

فَتَوَلَّیٰ عَنْهُمْ وَقَالَ یَا قَوْمِ لَقَدْ أَبْلَغْتُکُمْ رِسَالَهَ رَبِّی وَنَصَحْتُ لَکُمْ وَلَٰکِنْ لَا تُحِبُّونَ النَّاصِحِینَ

“Then he turned away from them and said: O my people, I did certainly deliver to you the message of my lord, and I gave you advice, but you do not love those who give advice. (Araf 7:79)”

Pay careful attention to the contents of these three verses.

The first verse shows that when they were alive they demanded the punishment of Allah.

The second verse shows that the divine punishment overtook and destroyed each one of them.

The third verse shows that Salih ('a) spoke to them after their death and destruction and said: “I presented you the divine messages but you disliked someone giving you advice.”

A clear witness to this fact that he spoke to them after their death are the following two points:

(1) The order of verses in the aforementioned form.

(2) The alphabet of فا in the word of فتولی which denotes an order. i.e. after their destruction, he turned towards them and spoke in such words.

The sentence of (ولکن لا تُحبون الناصحین) shows that they were so much sunk in obstinacy and wretchedness that even after death, they possessed wicked mentality so much so that they

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1- In some of the verses the cause of their destruction is said to be a heavenly cry (Sura Hud verse 6) and some other verse mention the cause as thunderbolt (Fussilat - 17). In these two verses, earthquake is mentioned and the total of the verses is such that there was a severely cry along with thunderbolt and earthquake.

did not like people who gave advices and warnings.

The expression of Qur’an is in such manner that, he speaks to his peoples’ souls with sincerity and considers them as his audience, and reminds them of their permanent obstinacy which was present in them even after death and says: “Now too, you do not like an advisor.”

B) Shu'ayb ('a) Speaks with the Souls of the Deceased Ones

فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الرَّجْفَهُ فَأَصْبَحُوا فِی دَارِهِمْ جَاثِمِینَ

“Then the earthquake overtook them, so they became motionless bodies in their abode. (Araf 7:91)”

الَّذِینَ کَذَّبُوا شُعَیْبًا کَأَنْ لَمْ یَغْنَوْا فِیهَا ۚ الَّذِینَ کَذَّبُوا شُعَیْبًا کَانُوا هُمُ الْخَاسِرِینَ

“Those who called Shu'ayb a liar were as though they had never dwelt therein, those who called Shu'ayb a liar, they were the losers. (Araf 7:92)”

فَتَوَلَّیٰ عَنْهُمْ وَقَالَ یَا قَوْمِ لَقَدْ أَبْلَغْتُکُمْ رِسَالَاتِ رَبِّی وَنَصَحْتُ لَکُمْ ۖ فَکَیْفَ آسَیٰ عَلَیٰ قَوْمٍ کَافِرِینَ

“So he turned away from them and said: O my people! certainly I delivered to you the messages of my Lord and I gave you good advice, how shall I then be sorry for an unbelieving people? (Araf 7:93)”

The method of reasoning in this verse is the same as the verses related to Salih (‘a).

C) The Holy Prophet (s) of Islam Speaks with the Souls of Prophets

وَاسْأَلْ مَنْ أَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ قَبْلِکَ مِنْ رُسُلِنَا أَجَعَلْنَا مِنْ دُونِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ آلِهَهً یُعْبَدُونَ

“And ask those of Our Apostles whom We sent before you: Did We ever appoint gods to be worshipped besides the Beneficent God? (Zukhraf 43:45)”

This verse shows that the Prophet (s) can establish a connection from this very world with the prophets who live in another world till it becomes clear that the order of

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God in all the ages and to all the Prophets was not to worship anyone other than Allah.

D) Qur’an Sends Salutations Upon The Prophets

The Holy Qur’an has on occasions sent peace and salutations on Prophets and these salutations were not meaningless compliments or some kind of formalities.

Great! it is far from justice if we wish to put down the sublime meanings of the beloved Qur’an to the level that has taken the tinge of staleness. It is true that today, the materialists who do not believe in the validity of spirit, send in their speeches, peace and salutations upon their leaders and founders of this school of thought as a form of respect and honour. But is it fair that we put aside the sublime meanings of Qur’an which reveals facts and realities and bring them down to low level and say that all these salutations which Qur’an has sent upon the prophets (and we Muslims too recite them day and night) are just some dry and meaningless compliments? The Holy Qur’an says:

(1) Peace be upon Nuh, in the Universe.

(2) Peace be upon Ibrahim.

(3) Peace be upon Musa and Harun.

(4) Peace be upon Aal Yasin.

(5) Peace be upon the Messengers. (1)

Salutations upon the Holy Prophet (s) in the State of Tashahhud:

All the Muslims of the world irrespective of the differences which they have in the principles of jurisprudence address the glorious Messenger of Allah in the tashahhud of their salat every morning and night and say:

السلام علیک أیها النبیّ ورحمه الله وبرکاته

The only thing is that the Shafi'ites and

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1- Sura al-Saffat: verses 79, 109, 120, 130, 181.

some others reckon this to be obligatory in tashahhud whereas other sects think it to be mustahab (recommendable). However all of them are unanimous in their opinion that the Holy Prophet (s) has taught the Muslims as such and the sunnah of the Prophet (s) remains the same during life and death.

If really our link and connection with the Holy Prophet (s) is cut-off and disconnected, then such a salutation and that too in the form of address (to the Prophet) is of what benefit?

The proofs of possibility of such connections and their occurrences are not confined to what we have said till now. Rather, we have other verses too in this regard which, for the sake of brevity, have not been discussed. For a more detailed discussion, interested readers can refer to the book of ‘Originality of spirit from the viewpoint of Qur’an’. In this book, a section of verses dealing with the topic are mentioned.

In the end, we remind you that the rationalization of salam in tashahhud was discussed due to its decisiveness among the verses. (1)

Conclusion of Our Discussion

For the first point, it was proved that death is not the end of life and the destruction of man. Rather, it is a window for getting transferred to another world.

On the second point, it was clarified that the reality of man is his very soul and spirit and his body is a dress covering his spirit. And if his soul and spirit remain, then naturally his reality,

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1- Refer to the book of Tadhkirat al-fuqaha', vol. 3, page 232 and the book of al-Khilaf by Shaykh al-Tusi, vol.1 page 47. In this book, he has narrated tashahhud in various forms from ‘Umar bin al-Khattab and 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud which all of them have such salam and the jurists of Ahl al-Sunnah like Abu Hanifa, Malik and Shafi'i have each taken one of these forms of tashahhud and given fatwa (verdict) upon them.

personality and all the other abilities (not the type of ability which is related to the material body) too remain. Therefore, if in this world his soul had the power to pray and eulogize or had the ability to perform some extraordinary actions by the Will of God, his holy nafs possesses by the Will of God, the same power and ability in that world and except for those acts which require the material body, it is capable of performing all the other actions.

On the third point, it was proved that it is possible for the people of this world to have relationship with the people of the next world and that the holy spirits can hear our words and sayings.

By paying attention to these three points, the philosophical possibility of the matter is proved i.e. it has been proved that the awliya Allah can listen to our talks and also reply to them by the Will of Allah. However, whether such a thing is lawful from the viewpoint of Islamic regulations or not, will be discussed in the fourth point to which we shall now refer.

4. Muslims and Asking for the Fulfilment of Their Needs from the Holy Spirits

Ibn Taymiyya and his followers with their unusual trait of opinionated judgements, deny the fact that the companions of the Holy Prophet (s) and those after them had asked the Prophet (s) for their needs to be fulfilled. Regarding this matter they say:

ولم یکن أحد من سلف الأمه فی عصر الصحابه ولا التابعین ولا تابعی التابعین یتخیرون الصلاه والدعاء عند

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الأنبیاء ویسألونهم ولا یستغیثون بهم لا فی مغیبهم ولا عند قبورهم.

“No one from the past ummah either at the time of the Companions nor the period after the tabi'in (disciples of companions) have performed salat and du'a near the graves of prophets. Never has anyone asked anything from them nor has anyone beseeched them either in their absence or near their graves.” (1)

Perhaps a person unacquainted with the history of the Companions (of the Holy Prophet) and the tabi'in may imagine such an attribution to be true. However, referring to history will prove contrary to that. As an example, we narrate some instances:

أصاب الناس قحط فی زمان عمر بن الخطاب فجاء رجل إلی قبر النبیّ فقال یا رسول الله استسق الله لأمتک فإنهم قد

هلکوا فأتاه رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله فی المنام فقال: أنت عمر ، فاقرنه وأخبره إنهم مسقون.

“During the Caliphate of ‘Umar, when there was a famine, a person came near the grave of the Holy Prophet (s) and said: ‘O Prophet, ask water for your people as they are being destroyed.’ Thereafter the Holy Prophet (s) appeared in his dream and told him as such: ‘Go to ‘Umar and send salam upon him and, inform him that all will soon be satiated with water.’” (2)

(A) Al-Samhudi continues as such:

ومحل الإستشهاد طلب الإستسقاء منه صلی الله علیه وأله وهو فی البرزخ ودعاؤه لربه هذه الحاله غیر ممتنع

وعلمه بسؤال من یسأله قد ورد فلا مانع من سؤال الإستسقاء وغیره کما کان فی الدنیا.

“This incident shows that

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1- Treatise of al-Hadiyyat al-saniyya, page 162 (Egyptian edition).
2- Wafa' al-wafa', vol. 2 page 1371.

though the Prophet (s) is in barzakh, one can ask him to pray for us. This matter is of no objection because he (i.e. the Prophet) is aware of the requests of the people. Thus there is no hindrance if one requests him to pray for us just as he was doing in this life.” (1)

(B) al-Samhudi narrates from al-Hafiz Abu 'Abdullah Muhammad bin Musa bin al-Nu'man with the chain of narrators ending in 'Ali bin Abi Talib (‘a) that three days had passed after the burial of the Holy Prophet (s) when an Arab from outside Medina came and sprinkled the soil of the Prophet's grave over his head and said:

یا رسول الله قلت فسمعنا قولک ووعیت عن الله سبحانه ما وعینا عنک ، وکان فیما انزل علیک (ولو أنهم إذ ظلموا

أنفسهم جاؤک فاستغفروا الله...) وقد ظلمت وجئتک نستغفر لی

“O Prophet! you spoke and we listened to your sayings. You received from God what we received from you. Among those things which was revealed upon you is this particular verse. 'If among them anyone who has done injustice upon themselves comes to you and seeks forgiveness from Allah and you too seek forgiveness for them, then they will find Allah most -Merciful and Forgiving.' I have done injustice upon myself and I have come to you (so that) you seek forgiveness for me.” (2)

The writer of Wafa' al-wafa', at the end of chapter eight, narrates many incidents which show that pleading and asking for one's need from the

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1- Wafa' al-wafa', vol. 2 page 1371.
2- Wafa' al-wafa', vol. 2 page 1361

Holy Prophet (s) has been the constant practise of the Muslims. He even mentions that Imam Muhammad bin Musa bin al-Nu'man has written a book in this regard under the title of Misbah al-zalam fi al-mustaghithin bi khayr al-'inam.

(3) Muhammad bin Munkadar says:

“A man gave my father 80 dinars as a trust while he was leaving for jihad and said: “You may spend this money if you fall in need”. Incidentally due to high cost of living, my father utilised that money. Finally its owner came and demanded back his money. My father told him to come the next day and the same night my father went to the mosque and pointing to the grave and pulpit of the Prophet (s), he implored and pleaded till the early dawn. At that moment, a man appeared from the dark and said “O Aba Muhammad take this.” He gave a purse to my father which contained 80 dinars.” (1)

(4) Abu Bakr al-Muqri says:

Hunger overtook al-Tabarani, Abu al-Shaykh and myself and we were close to the grave of the Holy Prophet (s). When night approached I went near the grave of the Prophet (s) and said:

یا رسول الله الجوع...

Moments later, a person from the Alawites entered the mosque with two young men and each of them was holding a bag full of food…. When we finished eating the 'Alawi man said.... "I saw the Holy Prophet (s) in my dream and he commanded me to bring food

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1- Wafa' al-wafa', vol. 2 page 1380 (Egyptian print). He has described example of these implorations till page 1385.

for you.” (1)

(5) Ibn al-Jallad says:

“Poverty-stricken, I entered Medina and went near the grave of the Holy Prophet (s) and said: O Prophet I am your guest. Suddenly I fell asleep and saw in my dream that the Holy Prophet (s) gave bread in my hands." (2)

Right now we are not concerned with the verity or inaccuracy of those incidents. Our point is that these incidents whether true or false prove that such an affair was a common one and if it was innovation or forbidden or polytheism and blasphemy than the fabrication and the enactors of such matters would not have narrated such matters which would lower them in the eyes of the people.

We have narrated in the book Asalat al-ruh (The originality of Spirit) in the section of ‘Connection (with) Spirits’, traditions that prove the authenticity of asking the holy spirits to pray.

Here, we are bound to mention a few points:

(1) In as much as these kinds of decrees and incidents are incompatible with the temperament of a group, they therefore declare all to be unknown without investigating into their references and narrations. Does such inadmissible denial bring harm to our reasoning?

Answer: Such an encounter with the historical events becomes the cause of interpolation of history because the number of these kinds of pleadings for fulfilment of needs is so numerous that one cannot consider all of them to be false and baseless. If someone intends to collect such narrations or stories he

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1- Same as previous reference.
2- Wafa' al-wafa', vol. 2 page 1361.

will be able to compile a thick book.

Now let us suppose that these stories and narrations are false and baseless. But these same baseless claims in the entire history inform us of one fact and it is as follows:

If these implorations and beseeching were unlawful, they would not have been fabricated and enacted such unlawful action in the form of honour and glorification as otherwise, their status would be lowered and they would be subject to the wrath and anger of the people.

The fabrication and enactors of tradition and history strive to fabricate and enact those things which suit the taste of the common people. If such an action was against Qur’an and Sunnah, then it would be considered as polytheism and 'ibada by the Muslims and the fabricators would never have enacted them and lowered their status in the eyes of the people.

(2) Seeking help from the holy spirits either in the form of request for du'a or in the form of fulfilling an action (Curing the sick, returning the lost one, etc.) is without any objection considering the four principles which we have discussed.

The thing which was in vogue among the Muslims at the time of seeking tawassul of the holy spirits was the very request for du'a or so to say, requesting the holy spirit of the Prophet to seek forgiveness for them from Allah and pleading for the fulfilment of their worldly and heavenly affairs. From the viewpoint of logic, request

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for fulfilment of actions like curing of the sick, freeing of the captive; solving of problems in life is the same as request for du'a.

(3) By paying attention to the measure which we reminded you about 'ibada, such requests and pleadings are never considered as 'ibada of the holy spirits. This is because the person making the request neither believes in their divinity nor in their lordship and neither considers them as God nor as the one who manages the world or part of it. He also does not believe that some of the actions of God have been entrusted to them. Rather, they consider them to be the pure servants of Allah who have never committed the least offence in their worldly life.

By paying attention to the four basic facts, one cannot doubt their power and barzakhi ability in fulfilling the requests of the pleaders. They are living creatures and our relation with them is well established. The only point is that every action and affair either in the form of dua’ or other than that it is dependent on the Will of Allah and they are clear evidence to:

ما تشاءون إلا أن یشاء الله

Just as in this world, 'Isa (‘a) could pray to God for goodness for someone or could cure by the Will of Allah, those who were born blind and those who suffered from leprosy, in the same manner, considering the fact that these powers and abilities are related to his soul

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and spirit and not his body, he can perform these same two actions (even) after his transfer to another world. However, in both the stages, the permission of Allah and His will is a necessary condition for receiving Grace through this channel.

(4) Even though such humility and humbleness in connection to the inerrant leaders are apparently for paying attention to them, yet if we tear open the inner portion of this attentiveness and the tawassul, we will find which really is desired and demanded by God Himself. In reality, paying attention to the cause is like paying attention to the ‘Causer of the causes’ and those who are having a firm step in the matter of behaviour and dealing with the people are aware and conscious of this reality with a conscious and enlightened heart.

Those who seek tawassul do not believe in the originality and independence of these causes and agents. Rather, they are means which God, the Causer has made them a channel and a route for receiving His Grace and Mercy and He, Himself, has ordered the believers for attaining as such. As verse says:

یَا أَیُّهَا الَّذِینَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَابْتَغُوا إِلَیْهِ الْوَسِیلَهَ وَجَاهِدُوا فِی سَبِیلِهِ لَعَلَّکُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

“O you who believe! be careful of (your duty to) Allah and seek means of nearness to Him and strive hard in His way that you may be successful. (Maida 5:35)”

If salat, fasting and all the divine duties are وسیله means, then in the same manner, the pure

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du'a of Prophets and awliya too, by decree of the previous verse (verse related to asking for forgiveness), is وسیلهmeans and paying attention to these means is like paying attention to the Creator of these means and our action is in accordance to the command of the afore-mentioned verse.

Seeking Shafa’a (Intercession) From Awliya Allah


All of us are well acquainted with the term shafa’a. When the discussion of crime, sin and guilt of a person is brought up and someone else intercedes and mediates for him in order to save him from death and execution or imprisonment and detention, we say so and so has done shafa'a for him.

The word of shafa'a has been taken from the root word شفعwhich means ‘even’ as against وترwhich means ‘odd’. The reason that the mediation of a person for saving a sinner is known as shafa'a is that the status and position of the one doing shafa'a and his effective powers get attached (and become even) with the factors of salvation which is present in the person receiving the shafa'a (even though it may be a little). Both these, with the help of one another become the cause of release of the sinful person.

The shafa'a of the beloved ones of Allah for the sinners is apparently this that because of their proximity and position which they have before Allah, (of course by the will of Allah and under special norms which have general and not personal aspects) they can mediate for the criminals and

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the sinners and through (invocation), and pleadings ask God to forgive their crimes and sins. Of course, shafa'a and its acceptance depends on a series of conditions of which some are related to the sinful person and some to the circumstances of shafa'a of sins.

Shafa'a in other words is the help of the beloved ones of Allah (by His will) to the one who in spite of being sinful has not disconnected his spiritual relation with Allah and the beloved ones of Allah. Moreover, this standard should always be safeguarded.

According to one of the meanings, shafa'a is: One inferior person who has the aptitude for leaping forward and progressing seeks help from a superior person in the form of one lawful order. However the person seeking help should not, from the viewpoint of spiritual perfections, fall to such extent that he loses the power of advancing and the possibility of changing into a pious man.

Right from the time of the Holy Prophet (s) till the later periods it had been the practise of the Muslims to seek shafa'a from the true intercessors. They were always asking in their lifetime or in their death and such shafa'a had never been objected by any of the Islamic scholars on any ground or Islamic principles.

It was only in the 7th century A.H. that Ibn Taymiyya with his special way of thinking, opposed this and many other lasting customs and traditions that were in vogue among the Muslims. Three centuries

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after him, Muhammad bin ’Abd al-Wahhab once again raised the flag of opposition and enlivened Ibn Taymiyya's school of thought with much more vigor.

One of the point of differences of the Wahhabis with the other Islamic sects is that although they have accepted shafa'a as an Islamic principle (like the other muslims) and say that on the Day of qiyama the intercessors will intercede for the sinners and in this matter the Holy Prophet (s) will play a greater role, yet they say that no one has the right to seek shafa'a from them in this world. In this matter they have gone to such an extreme that narrating the text of their sayings will be the source of spiritual discomfort. In short, they say:

The Holy Prophet (s), the other Prophets, the angels and the beloved ones of Allah have the right of doing shafa'a on the Day of Judgement but one should ask for shafa'a from the Master of shafa'a and the One who gives permission for that i.e. Allah and say:

اللهم شفع نبینا محمد فینا یوم القیامه أو اللهم شفع فینا عبادک الصالحین أو ملائکتک أو نحو ذلک مما یُطلب من الله

لا منهم فلا یٌقال یا رسول الله أو یا ولیَّ الله أسألک الشفاعه أو غیرها مما لا یقدر علیه إلا الله فإذا طلبت ذلک فی

أیام البرزخ کان فی اقسام الشرک.

“O God, make the Holy Prophet (s) and your virtuous servants and the Angels as our intercessors on the Day of Judgement.” However we are

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not having the right to say, “O Prophet of Allah” or “O wali of Allah we ask you to seek shafa'a for us. This is because shafa'a is something which no one is capable of doing except Allah. Asking such a thing from the Holy Prophet (s) who is living in barzakh will be a kind of polytheism (shirk)." (1)

The Wahhabis have, with a series of notions, forbidden the seeking of shafa'a from the true intercessors and have labelled the one who does so as a polytheist and his action as polytheism.

Before looking into their reasoning, we shall discuss the matter from the viewpoint of Qur’an, sunnah and the practise of the Muslims in this regard. After that, we will examine their reasoning.

Our reasoning on the logical firmness of seeking Shafa'a


Our reasoning for the permissibility of seeking intercession (shafa'a) is a combination of two matters which by proving them, the matter of intercession will become clear. These two matters are:

(1) Asking for shafa'a is the same as asking for du'a.

(2) Requesting for du'a from some worthy person is a recommended (mustahab) order.

1. Asking for Shafa'a is the same as asking for Du'a

The intercession of the Holy Prophet (s) and other true intercessors is nothing but du'a and eulogy before Allah owing to the proximity and the position which they have before Allah. It is due to their du'a that Allah bestows His mercy and Grace upon the sinners and forgives them. Asking for du'a from one believer (what if it is asked from the Holy Prophet) is an approved affair and none amongst the Islamic

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1- al-Hadiyyat al-saniyya, 2nd treatise, page 42.

scholars whether Wahhabis or Non-Wahhabis have doubt in its authenticity.

Of course it cannot be said that the reality of shafa'a in all the stations of mahshar is this very du'a before Allah. But one can say that one of its clear meanings is du'a and the one who says:

یا وجیهاً عند الله اشفع لنا عند الله

“O the one who has a position before Allah intercede for us from Allah.” denotes the same meaning.

Nizamuddin al-Naysaburi while interpreting the verse

من یشفع شفاعه سیّئه یکن له کفل منها

“And whoever joins himself (to another) in an evil cause shall have the responsibility of it. (Nisa 4:85)”

It is narrated from Muqatil as such:

الشفاعه إلی الله إنما هی الدعوه لمُسلم

“The reality of shafa'a is performing du'a for the Muslims.”

It is also narrated from the Holy Prophet (s) that anyone who performs du'a for his Muslim brother will be accepted and an angel will cry out: “The same shall be for you too.”

Ibn Taymiyya is one of those who believe’s that the request for du'a from a living person is correct. Therefore asking for shafa'a is not confined to the Holy Prophet (s) but one can make such a request from any believer who possesses value and esteem before Allah.

Al-Fakhruddin al-Razi is one of those who have interpreted shafa'a as du'a and eulogy before Allah. In interpreting the verse:

لِلَّذِینَ آمَنُوا رَبَّنَا وَسِعْتَ کُلَّ شَیْءٍ رَحْمَهً

“And ask protection for those who believe: Our Lord! Thou embracest all things in

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mercy. (Ghafir 40:7)”

He says: “This verse shows that the shafa'a performed by the carriers of ‘arsh (Throne) is only in connection with the sinners.” (1)

Similarly, the shafa'a of the Holy Prophet (s) and other Prophets with regards to the same group (i.e. the sinners) is the same because Allah commands as such:

واستغفر لذنبک وللمؤمنین والمؤمنات

“And, ask protection for your fault and for the believing men and the believing women. (Muhammad 47:19)” (2)

And Nuh ('a) sought forgiveness for himself, his parents, those who had faith in him and all the believers who are to come till qiyama and in this way he has fulfilled his mission of shafa'a. (3)

This description from al-Fakhr al-Razi bears witness that he has presented shafa'a to be the same as du'a of the intercessor for the sinner and has reckoned the request for shafa'a to be the same as request for du'a.

In the Islamic traditions (hadiths), there are clear indications that the ‘Dua’ of one Muslim for another Muslims is ‘Shafa'at’.

Ibn 'Abbas narrates from the Holy Prophet (s) as such:

ما من رجل مسلم یموت فیقول علی جنازته اربعون رجلاً لا یُشرکون بالله شیئاً إلا شفعهم الله فیه

“If one Muslim dies and forty men who are not polytheist, recite salat over his dead body, then Allah will accept their shafa'a which was done in his favour.” (4)

In this tradition, the person reciting the du'a is introduced as an intercessor. Now, if someone in his life-time requests forty of his loyal friends to

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1- Since the end of the verse says. "وقهم عذاب الجحیم" and protect them from the torment of Hell
2- Surah Muhammad, Ayah 19, as a decisive evidence bears witness to the inerrancy of the Holy Prophet (s) and other Prophets, naturally the word sin means something else for them. We have written the description of this section in Vol. 5 of the exegesis of Manshur Javid which is the first topicwise exegesis in Persian.
3- Sura Nuh: verse 28.
4- Sahih Muslim, Vol .3 page 54.

be present after his death and perform salat and du'a upon his dead body he has in reality sought shafa'a from them and has prepared the premises of shafa'a of the servants of Allah.

In Sahih al-Bukhari there is a chapter entitled as:

إذا استشفعوا إلی الإمام لیستسقی لهم لم یرُدهم

“When the people would ask their Imam to intercede (do shafa'a) and plead before Allah to descend rain, he (i.e. the Imam) would not reject their demands.”

Also, there is a chapter entitled as:

إذا إستشفع المُشرکون بالمسلمین عند القحط

“Occasions when the polytheists demanded shafa'a from Muslims at times of famine.” (1)

Narration of these two chapters is evidence that request for shafa'a is the same as request for du'a and it should not be interpreted in another way.

Till here, one pillar of reasoning has been clarified and that is, the reality of seeking shafa'a is nothing but requesting du'a. Now we should engage ourselves in describing the second pillar of reasoning and that is asking from one brother-in-faith (what if it is asking the awliya Allah) is a desirable and recommended action.

2. Qur’an and Request for du'a from Worthy People

The verses of Qur’an bear witness that when the Prophet's seek forgiveness for the people it is very effective and beneficial such as the following verses:

واستغفر لذنبک وللمؤمنین

“And ask protection for your fault and for the believers. (Muhammad 47:19)”

وصلِ علیهم إن صلاتک سکن لهم

“And pray for them, surely your prayer is a relief to them. (Tauba 9:103)”

If the du'a of Prophet has such benefit for

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1- Sahih al-Bukhari, vol.l.

man then what is the harm if one requests him to pray as such for him? On the other hand, request for du'a is nothing but request for shafa'a.

وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذْ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ جَاءُوکَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا اللَّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُوا اللَّهَ تَوَّابًا رَحِیمًا

“And had they, when they were unjust to themselves, come to you and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Apostle had (also) asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful. (Nisa 4:64)”

By جاؤک (they come to you) it means that they would come and ask the Prophet (s) to pray and seek forgiveness. If it means something else then their coming will be useless and in vain. Moreover, the honour of meeting the Prophet (s) and asking him to pray is itself a witness of the spiritual transformation which prepares the ground for acceptance of prayers. The Holy Qur’an narrates from the sons of Ya'qub ('a) that they requested their father to seek forgiveness for them and Ya'qub ('a) too accepted their request and acted upon his promise.

قَالُوا یَا أَبَانَا اسْتَغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا إِنَّا کُنَّا خَاطِئِینَ

قَالَ سَوْفَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ لَکُمْ رَبِّی

“They said: O our father! ask forgiveness of our faults for us, surely we were sinners. He said: I will ask for you forgiveness from my Lord. (Yusuf 12:97)”

All these verses show that requesting the Prophet (s) and other virtuous ones to perform du'a which is the same as requesting shafa'a, is not having the least objection from the viewpoint of Islamic

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standards. For the sake of brevity, we have not narrated the traditions regarding request of du'a from the virtuous ones.

Islamic Traditions (hadiths) and the Path of Companions

The famous traditionist, al-Tirmidhi and the writer of one of the Sihah of the Ahl al-Sunnah narrates from Anas as such:

سألت النبیّ أن یشفع لی یوم القیامه فقال أنا فاعل قلت فأین أطلبک فقال علی الصراط

(Anas says): “I requested the Holy Prophet (s) to ask shafa'a for me on the day of Judgement and he accepted and said, “I shall request your shafa'a. I asked: “Where should I find you? The Prophet said: "Find me near Sirat (bridge over Hell)." (1)

With his mild disposition, Anas requests for shafa'a from the Holy Prophet (s) and he too accepts it and gives him glad tidings. Sawad bin Qarib was one of the Companions of the Holy Prophet (s). In the contents of one of his poems, he seeks intercession from the Prophet (s) and says:

فکن لی شفیعاً یوم لا ذو شفاعه بمُغنٍ قتیلاً عن سواد بن قارب

"O' the honourable Prophet! you be my intercessor on the Day of Judgment, the day when the shafa'a of no one will be useful and beneficial to Sawad bin Qarib." (2)

Before the Holy Prophet's (s) birth, a person by the name of Tubba' from the tribe of al-Himyar had heard that soon a Prophet was going to be appointed by God in the Arab territory. Before dying, he wrote one letter and requested his near ones that if the day came when such

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1- Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Vol. 4 Page 42. Chapter of: "ما جاء فی شأن الصراط"
2- Qamus al-Rijal, under the matter Sawad.

a prophet was sent, then they should hand over his letter to him. In this letter, he had written as such:

وإن لم أدرکک فاشفع لی یوم القیامه ولا تُنسِنی

“Though my age was not loyal and I died before seeing you, ask my shafa'a on the Day of qiyama and do not forget me.”

When the letter was handed to the Holy Prophet (s) he said thrice:

مرحباً بتبع الأخ الصالح

“Congratulations to Tubba', my pious brother.” (1)

If request for shafa'a was polytheism then Holy Prophet (s) would never have addressed him as his brother and would not have thrice congratulated him.

Seeking Shafa'a from the Dead

Last section of traditions indicated that seeking shafa'a from the true intercessors in their lifetime is absolutely correct.

Now, we shall mention two traditions that show that the companions of the Holy Prophet (s) used to seek shafa'a from him even after his demise.

(1) Ibn 'Abbas says: When Amir al-mu'minin ('a) finished giving ghusl (ablution) and kafan (shroud) to the Holy Prophet (s), he uncovered the face (of the Prophet) and said:

بأبی أنت وأمی طبت حیاً وطبت میتاً...واذکرنا عند ربک

“May my mother and father be sacrificed; you are chaste and pure in life and in death. Remember us near your Lord." (2)

(2) When the Holy Prophet (s) passed away, Abu Bakr uncovered his face and kissed him and said:

“May my father and mother be sacrificed; you are chaste and pure in life and death. Remember and think of us near your Lord.” (3)

The aforesaid traditions show

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1- Manaqib Ibn Shahr Ashub, vol.1 page 12; Bihar al-Anwar, vol.15 page 314.
2- Nahj al-Balagha, Sermon no.230.
3- Kashf al-'Irtiyab, page 265 narrated from Khulasat al-kalam.

that seeking shafa'a of the intercessor makes no difference whether the intercessor is alive or dead. Thus, by paying attention to these verses, traditions and the continuing custom of the Muslims in all the ages, the matter of seeking shafa'a becomes self-evident and one should never be in slightest doubt with regards to its integrity. Moreover, the companions of the Holy Prophet (s) were requesting the Holy Prophet (s) to pray for them even after his demise and if request for du'a (prayers) after his demise is correct, then request for shafa'a too which is one kind of request for du'a is proper and correct. (1)

Examining The Reasoning Of Wahhabis About The Prohibition Of Seeking Shafa'a


In the previous chapter, we became acquainted with the permissibility of seeking shafa’a with logical reasons. Now it is time to learn about the reasoning of the opponents with regards to such request for shafa’a. The group of opposition have prohibited seeking of shafa’a with their particular way of thinking which we shall now discuss in brief.

(1) Seeking shafa’a is shirk (Polytheism)

By shirk they mean shirk in 'ibada and present seeking of shafa’a to be 'ibada of the intercessor. In chapter 9 we had discussed in detail about 'ibada and have clarified that requesting and asking someone and or seeking shafa’a will be counted as 'ibada only when we believe the other person to be الهGod, رب(Lord) and the one who is managing the world or is the source and master of divine affairs. If it is not as such then any kind of request and asking any kind of

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1- For more details refer to the book shafa'a in the realm of reason, Qur’an and Traditions written by (this) author. In this book, you will find 100 traditions (45 traditions from Ahl al-Sunnah and 55 traditions from Shi'a books).

respect and honour will never be counted as 'ibada.

The one who seeks shafa’a from the true intercessors before Allah (where Allah has permitted them to do shafa’a) consider them as an intimate and chosen servants of Allah where they are neither God nor the divine affairs such as forgiveness and shafa’a have been transferred to them so that they are able to wilfully and without the permission of Allah, do shafa’a and forgive whomsoever they wish.

Within the framework of ‘Permission of Allah’, these divine people can seek forgiveness and mercy for those particular people who still have spiritual relation with God and their spiritual connection with the divine intercessors has not yet been discontinued. And such a request from someone who does not reckon the intercessor to be more than an intimate servant can never be considered as 'ibada.

Of course we remind you that if such a request (of intercession) to the intercessor who is dead amounts to 'ibada then the same request to a living intercessor too should be counted as 'ibada.

However, in the previous discussion we pointed out that Qur’an and traditions command the Muslims to approach the Holy Prophet (s) and request him to seek forgiveness for themselves. And such a request is nothing but seeking shafa’a from him in his life-time and it is impossible that one action which is polytheism in one period turns into a monotheistic action in another period.

To elaborate further, they say: Shafa’a is the act of

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God and in better terms, is the right of God and asking others about something which is related to His action will amount to 'ibada of that person. They speak the same about asking for shifa’ (cure) of the sick and other similar things from the beloved ones of God and say: Such kinds of requests are requests for the Acts of God and naturally it will be like doing his 'ibada.

By paying attention to the previous discussions, the reply to this reasoning becomes absolutely clear and it is as such: None amongst the Muslims have differences in this general rule and universal measure and all agree that asking others about the actions of Allah will be counted as 'ibada and involves the belief in divinity and Lordship. But the main point of our discussion is: What is meant by ‘action’ of God? The Wahhabi writers during these three centuries have not explained the standard for the ‘acts’ or ‘action’ of God without which the reasoning will be brought to naught.

In the discussion about the definition and limitation of 'ibada we reminded you that in many verses of Qur’an, the actions which are specific to God have also been attributed to other than Him. For example, giving death which is a specific action of God as mentioned in Sura al-Mu'minun verse 85.

وهو الذی یُحیی ویُمیت

"He is one who gives life and Death" is also attributed to (someone) other than Him as mentioned in another verse as such:

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حتی إذا جاء أحدکم الموت توَّفته رُسلنا

“Until when death comes to one of you, our messengers cause him to die. (An’am 6:61)”

Until the time death overtakes one of them, our messengers take away their souls. It is not only this action (i.e. ‘giving death’) that is specifically the action of God and is attributed to (someone) other than Him but in fact. a portion of the actions of God and those things which should be asked only from God have been permitted to be asked from someone other than Him.

For example: Qur’an commands the Muslims to say day and night (only from Thee do we seek help) but at the same time in another verse it commands us to seek help from (something) other than Him like salat and patience, As verse says:

وَاسْتَعِینُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاهِ ۚ وَإِنَّهَا لَکَبِیرَهٌ إِلَّا عَلَی الْخَاشِعِینَ

“And seek assistance through patience and prayer, and most surely it is a hard thing except for the humble ones. (Baqarah 2:45)”

If we wish to narrate those verses which are specific to Allah, but are attributed to other than Him, then our discussion will lengthen. (1) What is necessary is to solve the controversy through Qur’anic insight and acquire the actual meaning of Qur’an and it is as such:

Each of these affairs irrespective of our request has two forms:

(1) A ‘doer’ performs an action without relying on a creature, without acquiring power from any position and without obtaining the will of anybody, For example,

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1- Refer to the book Manshur Javid, vol. 2 Section of "limitation of 'ibada".

he gives death to a living creature or helps a creature.

(2) A ‘doer’ performs the same action by relying on a superior being, by acquiring power from a higher position and obtaining His permission. The first affair is the affair of God and the second a human or non-divine affair. This is a general yardstick for distinguishing the divine action from the non-divine ones.

The divine actions such as giving life, death, cure, sustenance etc, are invariably those actions for which the doer is needless of anything in performing them.

On the other hand, a non-divine action is that action which the doer has to depend on a superior and higher creature than him and without His Power and Will, is not able to perform that action.

By paying attention to this principle, it becomes clear that the shafa’a which is the special right of Allah is different from that shafa’a which is sought from the virtuous people.

Allah is needless from all angles in these actions whereas the virtuous one put them into operation only under the light of His wise Will and Permission.

Whenever shafa’a is sought from the awliya Allah in the first sense, then in such a case, the divine action is asked from someone other than God and such an asking will be reckoned as 'ibada.

However if shafa’a is sought from them in the second sense i.e. a limited and permitted shafa’a which is in the form of one acquired right, then in

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such a case, a non-divine action is asked from them.

By paying attention to this yardstick, the fists of the fallacious writers of Wahhabis will open up and it becomes clear that such kind of requests, most common being request for shafa’a and others such as shifa' (cure) and the like of it takes place under two forms and no virtuous monotheist will request such an action in the first form and no one, no matter how little Islamic knowledge he possesses, will ever reckon them to be the ones managing this world or the ones in charge of the system of creation.

Moreover, they do not (even) reckon them to be such creatures to whom God has entrusted His position and His actions and do not imagine that in the actions of shafa’a and fulfilment of needs they are unlimited and unconditional.

In short, asking for a limited and authorised shafa’a is the action of a man from man himself and is not asking for the Acts of God from someone other than Him.

We shall speak about the ‘action of God’ and its special features in the near future.

(2) The Shirk (Polytheism) of the Polytheists was due to Their Seeking of Shafa’a from the Idols


The second reasoning which the Wahhabis give for the prohibition of shafa’a is this that God has labelled the idol-worshippers of Hijaz as polytheists because of their seeking of shafa’a from the idols; their crying and wailing before them and their request (to them) to act as mediators, The following verse bears testimony to this:

وَیَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا

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لَا یَضُرُّهُمْ وَلَا یَنْفَعُهُمْ وَیَقُولُونَ هَٰؤُلَاءِ شُفَعَاؤُنَا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ

“And they serve beside Allah what can neither harm them nor profit them, and they say: These are our intercessors with Allah. (Yunus 11:18)”

Therefore, any kind of shafa’a from other than God will be polytheism and worshipping of the intercessor.


Firstly, this verse is never an indication of what they say and if the Qur’an calls them as polytheists it is not because they were seeking shafa’a from the idols but because of worshipping them and finally reaching the stage of seeking shafa’a from them.

If seeking shafa’a from the idols did really amount to their worship then, in addition to the sentence ویعبدون there was no reason to bring the sentence:

ویقولون هؤلاء شفعاؤنا

That these two sentences have come in a parataxis form in this verse shows that the matter of 'ibada (worship) of the idols was different from the matter of seeking shafa’a from them, Worshipping of the idols is the sign of polytheism and dualism and seeking shafa’a from the stones and wood is reckoned to be a foolish act, devoid of any logic or reason.

This verse never shows that seeking shafa’a from the idols amounts to worshipping them so that we may say that seeking shafa’a from the true beloved ones of Allah is the sign of worshipping them.

Secondly, even if we assume that the reason of their polytheism was due to their seeking of shafa’a' from the idols yet, there exists a vast difference between their

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seeking of shafa’a and the seeking of shafa’a of the Muslims. They reckoned the idols to be the masters of shafa’a and the absolute authorities in the matters related to shafa’a and ‘forgiveness of sins’. Perhaps God has discharged Himself from these affairs and has entrusted them to the idols.

Such a shafa’a will naturally be (like) worshipping them because they were seeking shafa’a in them by having belief in their divinity, lordship and their being the source of divine affairs. On the other hand, a Muslim seeks shafa’a and requests for du'a from the beloved ones of Allah as one esteemed and honourable one (of Allah) and as one authorized servant of Allah in the matter of shafa’a. Thus considering these two forms as one and the same is far from justice and realism.

(3) Request for Fulfilment of Need from Someone Other than Allah is Forbidden


The third reason which the Wahhabis give for the prohibition of the matter of seeking shafa’a from the divine leaders is this that by specific decree of Qur’an, we should not, in the position of du'a, call anyone other than Allah. And asking for shafa’a from other than God is one kind of asking (for fulfilment of needs).

The Holy Qur’an says:

فلا تدعوا مع الله أحداً

“Then do not call anyone with Allah (Jinn 72:8)”

If on the one hand it is said that calling someone other than Allah is forbidden and on the other hand the matter of shafa’a of the awliya Allah has been established, then the way of concluding is to say that

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we should seek shafa’a of the divine leaders from God and not from themselves.

The proof that such callings is 'ibada and worship is the following verse of Qur’an:

ادْعُونِی أَسْتَجِبْ لَکُمْ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِینَ یَسْتَکْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِی سَیَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِینَ

“Call upon Me, I will answer you; surely those who are too proud for My service shall soon enter hell abased. (Ghafir 40:60)”

Attention is required in the beginning of the verse; the word and in the end the word has come which shows that ‘calling’ and worship give one and the same meaning. In the books of tradition too, we find as such:

الدعاء مُخ العباده

“Du'a is the brain of 'ibada (worship).”


Firstly, the verse which has prohibited دعوت (calling) of someone other than God in the sentence فلا تدعوا does not refer to absolute calling and requesting. Instead, this prohibition (of دعوت) refers to the prohibition of worshipping someone other than God; the reason being the preceding verse which says وأن المساجد لله. This sentence shows that by دعوت (in this verse) is meant some specific دعوت which is accompanied by worship and a rising which is mixed with unlimited humility and lowliness in front of the one whom they consider as God of the Universe, Lord of the worlds and the absolute authority in creation. (1)

And such a bond does not exist in the matter of seeking shafa’a from someone in whom Allah has bestowed such a right to give shafa’a by His

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1- In fact the meaning of the verse is فلا تعبدوا مع الله أحداً as mentioned in another verse والذین لا یدعون مع الله إلهاً أخر (Sura al-Furqan verse 68).


Secondly, what has been prohibited in the verse is ‘calling someone along with Allah’ and ‘considering him at His level’, as the word of مع الله is a clear evidence to this fast. If someone requests the Holy Prophet (s) to pray for him, that Allah may forgive his sins or fulfil his needs, than he has not called anyone along with Allah. Rather, the reality of this calling is nothing but the calling of Allah.

If asking for fulfilment of needs from the idols is introduced as polytheism in some of verses, it is because they reckoned them to be the small gods, the authorities in all or some of the divine affairs and the ones who are powerful enough to fulfil their needs. Therefore the Qur’an criticizes such ideas and says:

وَالَّذِینَ تَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِهِ لَا یَسْتَطِیعُونَ نَصْرَکُمْ وَلَا أَنْفُسَهُمْ یَنْصُرُونَ

“And those whom you call upon besides Him are not able to help you, nor can they help themselves. (Araf 7:197)”

The Qur’an also says:

إِنَّ الَّذِینَ تَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ عِبَادٌ أَمْثَالُکُمْ

“Surely those whom you call on besides Allah are in a state of subjugation like yourselves. (Araf 7:194)”

In short, the polytheists imagined the idols to be small gods and believed them to be absolute possessors of divine actions. However, asking ‘shafa’a and du'a from someone whom God has granted such a right and position is devoid of such stipulations.

Thirdly, calling is having a much wider and comprehensive meaning and is occasionally used metaphorically in 'ibada (worship) such

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as the verse of أدعونی استجب لکم إن الذین یستکبرون and the tradition الدعاء مع العباده. However, such partial usages in metaphorical form is no reason that we always interpret دعوت in the meaning of worship and condemn the request for fulfilment of need and du'a from someone (in a reasonable manner) as polytheism.

Moreover, the actual meaning of دعوت is ‘to call’ which sometimes takes the shape of Ibadat and mainly gives the meaning of calling others (and not 'ibada).

Later, we shall have a chapter on the meaning of دعوت in Qur’an and will prove that every دعوت (calling) and pleading is not accompanied with 'ibada and worship.

(4) Shafa’a is the Special Right of Allah


The following verse shows that shafa’a is the right of Allah and as such, what meaning can we derive other than this?

أَمِ اتَّخَذُوا مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ شُفَعَاءَ ۚ قُلْ أَوَلَوْ کَانُوا لَا یَمْلِکُونَ شَیْئًا وَلَا یَعْقِلُونَ

قُلْ لِلَّهِ الشَّفَاعَهُ جَمِیعًا

“Or have they taken intercessors besides Allah? Say: what! even though they did not ever have control over anything, nor do they understand. Say: Allah's is the intercession altogether. (Zumar 39:43)”


The sentence لِلَّهِ الشَّفَاعَهُ جَمِیعًاdoes not mean that only God gives shafa’a and that no one else is having the right of shafa’a. This is because undoubtedly, God never asks anyone to do shafa’a for someone else. Rather, it means that God is the original Owner of shafa’a and not the idols; since the one who possesses wisdom and ownership of all things becomes the owner of shafa’a and

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not the idols whom they worship which are devoid of both these qualifications. As Qur’an says:

قُل أولوا کانوا لا یملکون شیئاً

Therefore, the pivot of discussion of this verse is that God is the Owner of shafa’a and not the idols and in whomsoever He sees worth and merit, He gives the right of shafa’a (and not to the idols). Therefore, this verse has no relation with the topic of our discussion because the Muslims consider only God as the Owner of shafa’a and not the beloved ones of God. They believe that only those who are having His permission can do shafa’a and not everybody. They also believe that by the decree of verses and traditions, God has authorised the Holy Prophet (s) to do shafa’a. Thus, they seek shafa’a from him as one authorized person (and not as the Owner of shafa’a). As such, what is the relation between the discussion and the contents of this verse?

(5) Seeking Shafa’a from the Dead is Useless


Their last reasoning is that seeking shafa’a from the awliya Allah is (like) seeking fulfilment of needs from the dead who are lacking the hearing sense. The Holy Qur’an explains the dead to be unworthy. As it says:

إِنَّکَ لَا تُسْمِعُ الْمَوْتَیٰ وَلَا تُسْمِعُ الصُّمَّ الدُّعَاءَ إِذَا وَلَّوْا مُدْبِرِینَ

“Surely you do not make the dead to hear, and you do not make the deaf to hear the call when they go back retreating. (Naml 27:80)”

In this verse, the Holy Qur’an likens the polytheists to the dead and informs us that

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just as the dead are not capable of understanding, in the same manner; it is not possible for you to make this group to understand. If the dead were capable of speaking and hearing, then it was not proper to compare the dead-hearted polytheists to the group of dead people.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ یُسْمِعُ مَنْ یَشَاءُ ۖ وَمَا أَنْتَ بِمُسْمِعٍ مَنْ فِی الْقُبُورِ

“Surely Allah makes whom He pleases hear, and you cannot make those hear who are in the graves. (Fatir 35:22)”

The analysis of this verse is the same as the analysis of the previous verse. Thus, seeking shafa’a from a person is like seeking (something) from an inanimate object.


This group always finds fault with the other sects of Islam through the door of shirk (polytheism) and as supporters of monotheism, they seek to label others as kafir (unbelievers) But, in this analysis, they have changed the form of this discussion and have presented the matter of uselessness of paying attention to the awliya. However, they are completely unaware that:

The awliya Allah by the blessings of rational (1) and narrative (2) reasoning, are alive and living. The objective of this verse is not to prove that the bodies which have been laid to rest are not capable of understanding and anybody from which the soul has been detached, is unable to perceive and understand and turns into an inanimate object.

However, it should be known that what we address is not the hidden body inside the grave but

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1- The reasons for abstraction of soul from matter after the separation of body and its needlessness from material body demands that the soul of man continues and enjoys perception after death too. By giving ten reasons, the great Islamic philosophers have proved the eternity of the soul and its superiority to matter and have not left any ambiguity for any impartial person.
2- The verses of Qur’an like Sura Aal 'Imran: 169, 170; Sura al-Nisa: 41, Sura al-Ahzab: 45, Sura al-Mu'minun: 100 and Sura Ghafir: 46 prove that life after death continues and we have discussed this matter in the past.

the pure and living spirits which are living with barzakhi bodies in the world of barzakh and are, as per the Qur’an, alive. We seek shafa’a from these spirits and not the concealed bodies in the soil.

If the dead and the hidden bodies inside the soil are not capable of understanding, it does not mean that the spirits (and their good influence) which according to Qur’an are alive and receiving their sustenance in another world are incapable of understanding.

If we say salutations or seek shafa’a and or speak to them, our attention is directed to those holy and living spirits and not the hidden bodies inside the soil. If we go for ziyara (visit) of their graves, houses or place of living, it is because we wish by this way, to prepare ourselves for establishing a spiritual relationship with them. Even if we become aware that their bodies have changed to soil (though the Islamic traditions prove contrary to that) still we will seek of reach such instances so that in this way, we prepare for our relationship with these pure spirits.

Is Belief In Invisible Power The Basis of Shirk (Polytheism)?


There is no doubt that a sincere request for fulfilment of needs is possible only when the person making the request reckons the requested person or entity to be powerful and capable enough to fulfil his need. Sometimes, this power is an apparent and a physical one such as when we ask someone for water and he fills the vessel with it and hands it

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over to us.

Sometimes too, this power is an invisible power, far from the natural channels and beyond the domain of physical laws. For example, a person believes that Imam Ali (‘a) could lift the door of the fort of Khaybar which was not within the power of an ordinary man and pull it off not by human power but by an unseen power. Or that 'Isa ('a) could, by his curative healing, cure the incurable disease without the use of medicine or any kind of operation.

If belief in this unseen power is such that it is supported by the Power and Will of Allah, it will be similar to the belief in the physical power which does not involve shirk (polytheism). This is because the same God who has placed the physical power in that particular person also gives the unseen power to another person but without assuming the creature to be the Creator and without taking that person to be independent of God.

The Views of Wahhabis

They say: If someone asks one of the awliya Allah, whether dead or alive, to cure his sick ones or to find his lost ones or to help him in repaying his debt, such requests involve the belief in the sovereignty and power (of the one whom he asks) where he is prevailing over the natural system and the laws in force in the world of creation. Belief in such sovereignty and power of someone other than God is the same as the belief

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in the divinity (Godliness) of that person and asking something from him under this bond will be shirk (polytheism).

If a thirsty person in the desert asks for water from his servant, he has observed the order prevailing over the laws of nature and such an asking will not be shirk (polytheism). However, if he asks water from a Prophet (s) or an Imam who is concealed under the soil or lives in some other place, then such a request involves the belief in his unseen sovereignty (of providing him with water without the physical causes and means) and such a belief is exactly the same as the belief in the divinity of that person.

Abu al-'A'la al-Mawdudi is the one who has emphasised this matter and says:

إن التصوٌّر الذی لأجله ندعو الإنسان الاله وتستغیثه ویتصرغ إلیه هو لا حرم تصور کونه مالکاً للسلطه المهیمنه

علی قوانین الطبیعه.

“The reason that man calls God and beseeches Him is because he thinks Him as the One possessing sovereignty over the laws of nature and dominance over such power which is outside the scope of the influence and limits of physical laws.” (1)

Our Viewpoint


Their basic mistake is that they imagine the belief in the unseen power of someone to be absolute source of polytheism and dualism. They have neither wished nor have been able to differentiate between the power which is dependent on the sovereignty of God and the power which is independent and separate from God. The shirk (polytheism) which they speak about

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1- Al-Mustalahat al-'arba'a, page 18.

is related to the second one.

The Holy Qur’an very explicitly mentions the names of some personalities who all possessed unseen powers and command of their will was dominant over the laws of nature. We shall mention here, from the viewpoint of Qur’an, the names of those awliya Allah who possessed such powers.

(1) Unseen Sovereignty of Yusuf ('a)

Yusuf ('a) tells his brothers as such:

اذْهَبُوا بِقَمِیصِی هَٰذَا فَأَلْقُوهُ عَلَیٰ وَجْهِ أَبِی یَأْتِ بَصِیرًا فَلَمَّا أَنْ جَاءَ الْبَشِیرُ أَلْقَاهُ عَلَیٰ وَجْهِهِ فَارْتَدَّ بَصِیرًا

“Take this my shirt and cast it on my father's face, he will (again) be able to see. So when the bearer of good news came he cast it on his face, so forthwith he regained his sight. (Yusuf 12:93-96)”

Apparently, this verse shows that Ya'qub ('a) regained his sight owing to the will and acquired power of Yusuf and this action was not the direct act of Allah. Rather, it was the act of Allah through some channel; otherwise there was no reason for Yusuf to order his brothers to put his shirt over their father's face. Instead, it was enough for him to just pray. This action is nothing but the appropriation of the representative of Allah over a part of the world but by the Will of Allah and such a representative is the possessor of unseen sovereignty which Allah gives in special circumstances.

(2) Unseen Sovereignty of Musa ('a)

Musa ('a) is ordered by Allah to strike his staff upon a mountain so that twelve fountains i.e. the number of tribes of the sons of Israel, come

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out of it. As the Qur’an says:

اضْرِبْ بِعَصَاکَ الْحَجَرَ ۖ فَانْفَجَرَتْ مِنْهُ اثْنَتَا عَشْرَهَ

“Strike the rock with your staff. So there gushed from it twelve springs. (Baqarah 2:60)”

In another place he is charged with striking his staff over the sea so that every drop of it becomes the size of mountain for the Bani Isra'el to pass. As Qur’an says:

فَأَوْحَیْنَا إِلَیٰ مُوسَیٰ أَنِ اضْرِبْ بِعَصَاکَ الْبَحْرَ ۖ فَانْفَلَقَ فَکَانَ کُلُّ فِرْقٍ کَالطَّوْدِ الْعَظِیمِ

“Then we revealed to Musa: Strike the sea with your staff. So it had cloven as under, and each part was like a huge mound. (Shu'ara 26:63)”

Here, one cannot imagine that the will and wish of Musa ('a) and the striking of his staff played no role in the appearance of the fountains and mountains.

(3) Unseen Sovereignty of Sulayman ('a)

Prophet Sulayman ('a) is a great beloved one of Allah who possessed wide unseen Powers and because of this great divine bounty, he has been described with the sentence وأوتینا من کل شئ Sura al-Naml, verse 16 and the details of these bounties and talents have come down in Sura al-Naml, verse 17 to 44, Sura Saba, verse 12, Sura al-Anbiya, verse 81 and Sura Sa’ad, verse 36-40. Referring to these verses will acquaint us with the magnificence of the gifted powers of Sulayman. In order that the readers become aware of these powers, we shall mention some of the verses related to this wali Allah so that it becomes clear that belief in the unseen power of the servant of

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Allah is a matter which Qur’an itself has pointed out.

From the viewpoint of Qur’an, Sulayman ('a) had dominancy over the Jinns and birds and was aware of the languages of the birds and insects; as Qur’an says:

وَوَرِثَ سُلَیْمَانُ دَاوُودَ ۖ وَقَالَ یَا أَیُّهَا النَّاسُ عُلِّمْنَا مَنْطِقَ الطَّیْرِ وَأُوتِینَا مِنْ کُلِّ شَیْءٍ ۖ إِنَّ هَٰذَا لَهُوَ الْفَضْلُ الْمُبِینُ

وَحُشِرَ لِسُلَیْمَانَ جُنُودُهُ مِنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنْسِ وَالطَّیْرِ فَهُمْ یُوزَعُونَ

حَتَّیٰ إِذَا أَتَوْا عَلَیٰ وَادِ النَّمْلِ قَالَتْ نَمْلَهٌ یَا أَیُّهَا النَّمْلُ ادْخُلُوا مَسَاکِنَکُمْ لَا یَحْطِمَنَّکُمْ سُلَیْمَانُ وَجُنُودُهُ وَهُمْ لَا یَشْعُرُونَ

فَتَبَسَّمَ ضَاحِکًا مِنْ قَوْلِهَا وَقَالَ رَبِّ أَوْزِعْنِی أَنْ أَشْکُرَ نِعْمَتَکَ الَّتِی أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَیَّ وَعَلَیٰ وَالِدَیَّ

“And Sulayman was Dawud's heir, and he said: O men! we have been taught the language of birds, and we have been given all things; most surely this is manifest grace. And his hosts of the jinn and the men and the birds were gathered to him, and they were formed into groups. Until when they came to the valley of the Naml, an ant said: O Naml! enter your houses, (that) Sulayman and his hosts may not crush you while they do not Know. So he smiled, wondering at her word, and said: My Lord! grant me that I should be grateful for Thy favour which Thou hast bestowed on me and on my parents. (Naml 27:16-19)”

If you refer to the story of ‘Hud Hud’ in Qur’an which was given charge by Sulayman to deliver his message to the Queen of Saba, you will be astonished by the

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unseen power of Sulayman. Therefore it is requested that you kindly refer and ponder deeply over Sura al-Naml, verses 20-44.

According to the specification of Qur’an, Sulayman possessed unseen dominancy and the movement of the wind took place as per his wish and command. As the verse says:

وَلِسُلَیْمَانَ الرِّیحَ عَاصِفَهً تَجْرِی بِأَمْرِهِ إِلَی الْأَرْضِ الَّتِی بَارَکْنَا فِیهَا ۚ وَکُنَّا بِکُلِّ شَیْءٍ عَالِمِینَ

“And (We made subservient) to Sulayman the wind blowing violent, pursuing its course by his command to the land which We had blessed, and We are Knower of all things. (Anbiya 21:81)”

The point which is worthy of attention is the sentence تجری بأمرهwhich shows that the wind was blowing as per his command.

(4) 'Isa ('a) and His Unseen Sovereignty

By examining the verses of Qur’an, one can follow the unseen power of 'Isa ('a). For indicating his power and position, we present here some verses. The Holy Qur’an narrates from 'Isa ('a) as such:

أنی أخلُق لکم من الطین کهیئه الطیر فأنفخ فیه فیکون طیراً بإذن الله. وأبرئ الأکمه والأبرص وأحی الموتی بإذن

الله وأنبئکم بما تأکلون وما تدخرون فی بُیوتکم إن فی ذلک لأئه لکم إن کنتم مؤمنین.

“I create you out of dust like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird with Allah's permission and I heal the blind and the leprous, and bring the dead to life with Allah's permission and I inform you of what you should eat and what you should store in your houses, most surely there is a sign in this

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for you, if you are believers. (Aal-e 'Imran 3:49)”

If 'Isa ('a) relates his actions to the Will of God, it is because no Prophet is the possessor of such authority without the Will of God. As verse says:

وما کان لرسول أن یأتی بأیه إلا بإذن الله

“And it is not in (the power of) an apostle to bring a sign except by Allah's permission. (Ra'd 3:38)”

On the other hand, 'Isa ('a) attributes the unseen actions to himself and says: I cure, I make alive, I give the news. The words أبرئ ، أحیی ، أنبئکمwhich are all صیغه مثلکم (the first person) bear witness to this fact, it is not only Yusuf, Musa, Sulayman and 'Isa ('a) who possessed unseen powers and supernatural sovereignty but a group of prophets (1) and angels possessed and still possess unseen sovereignty and Qur’an describes Jibra'il as شدید القوی (mighty in power) and the Angels as فالمدبرات أمراً (regulator of affairs).

In Qur’an, the Angels have been introduced as the managers of the affairs of the world, the takers of the lives of people, the protectors and guards of the people, the writers of deeds, the destroyers of sinful nations and tribes, etc, etc. Those who have the basic knowledge of Qur’an are aware that the Angels possess unseen power and by relying on the Will and power of Allah, they perform extra ordinary acts.

If belief in unseen sovereignty involves (belief of) divinity in that person, then, as far as the Qur’an is concerned, all

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1- The discussion about unseen sovereignty of Prophets and awliya Allah is sufficient in this treatise and we have discussed them in detail in the book ‘Spiritual power of the Prophets’ and this book has been printed several times.

of these prophets and angels should be introduced as الهه gods. (1)

As mentioned before, the solution to this dilemma lies in this that one should differentiate between ‘independent power’ and ‘acquired power’. Belief in independent power (of a creature) is the source of shirk (polytheism) in all the circumstances whereas belief in acquired power with regards to any action is monotheism.

So far, it has been clarified that belief in the unseen power of the awliya Allah along with this belief that they are dependent on the eternal Power of God and are only the channels appointed by God, is not only far from shirk (polytheism) but is purely (tawhid) monotheism. The basis of tawhid is not this that the actions which are dependent on the natural powers are related to man and the actions that are dependent on the unseen powers are related to God. Rather, the reality of tawhid is to believe that all the powers whether dependent on natural powers or dependent on unseen powers are all related to God and manifest Him to be the prime source of all types of powers and strength.

Now it's time to discuss the matter of asking extraordinary actions from the awliya Allah. (2)

Is it Shirk (Polytheism) to request for Extra-Ordinary Actions?


Any phenomenon, as per the laws of cause and effect, has a cause for itself and the existence of such a phenomenon is not possible without that cause. As a result, no phenomenon remains without a cause in this Universe. Miracles and wonders of the Prophets and

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1- Sura al-Najm: verse 5.
2- Sura al-Nazi'at: verse 5.

other awliya too are not without a cause. The only thing being that there is no natural and physical cause for them and this differs from saying that there is no cause (at all) for them.

If the staff of Musa ('a) is changed into a snake, or the dead are made alive by 'Isa ('a) or the moon is cut into two halves by the Holy Prophet (s) of Islam and the pebbles start glorification of God in the hands of the Holy Prophet (s), etc., are all with some cause. The only point is that in these cases, the natural causes or the well-known physical causes are not at work and it is not that they are basically without a cause.

Sometimes it is thought that asking natural actions from someone is not polytheism but asking some extraordinary acts from him is polytheism. Now we shall examine this very view.


The Holy Qur’an mentions instances where in the Prophets and others have been asked to perform a series of extraordinary acts which are outside the scope of natural and physical laws. The Holy Qur’an narrates these requests without criticising any of them. For example, the tribe of Musa ('a), as per the stipulation of Qur’an, turned towards Musa ('a) and asked water and rain from him so that they could be saved from the severe famine. As the Qur’an says:

وأوحینا إلی موسی استسقاه قومه أن اضرب بعصاک الحجر

“……And we revealed to Musa when his people asked him

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for water: strike the rock with your staff….” (Araf 7:16)” (1)

It is possible that it may be said that there is no objection in asking extraordinary acts from a living person but our point concerns such request from dead people. However the reply is obvious since, life and death cannot bring any change in any action which is in accordance with the principle of monotheism such that we declare one to be polytheism and the other as monotheism. Life and death can have effect on usefulness or un-usefulness but not on polytheism and monotheism.

Sulayman ('a) Seeks the Throne of Bilqis


In summoning the throne of Bilqis, Sulayman ('a) asked an extraordinary act from those present in his gathering. He said:

أیُکم یأتینی بعرشها قبل أن یأتونی مسلمین قال عفریت من الجن أنا أتیک به قبل أن تقوم من مقامک وإنی علیه لقویّ أمین قال الذی عنده علم من الکتاب أنا أتیک به قبل أن یرتدّ إلیک طرفک فلما رأه مستقراً عنده قال هذا من فضل ربی.

“Which of you can bring to me her throne before they come to me in submission?' One audacious among the jinn said: 'I will bring it to you before you rise up from your place, and most surely I am strong (and) trusty for it.’ One who had the knowledge of the Book said: 'I will bring it to you in the twinkling of an eye.' Then when he saw it settled beside him, he said: 'This is by the grace of my Lord.’” (Naml 27:38)

If such views (asking for extraordinary

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1- Also refer to Sura al-Baqara verse 60.

acts is polytheism) are true, then asking miracles in all ages and times from the claimants of Prophethood is blasphemy and polytheism. This is because the people asked for miracles (which required extraordinary acts) from those claiming to be prophets; not from God who has sent them. They were told as such:

إِنْ کُنْتَ جِئْتَ بِآیَهٍ فَأْتِ بِهَا إِنْ کُنْتَ مِنَ الصَّادِقِینَ

“If you have come with a sign, then bring it, if you are of the truthful ones. (Araf 7:106)”

All the nations of the world used to employ this method in recognizing the true prophets from the false ones and the prophets were always inviting the nations to come and see their miracles. The Qur’an too narrates, without objection, the people's demand for miracles from the Prophets which shows its acceptance of this matter.

If people wishing to investigate come to 'Isa ('a) and say: ‘If you are truthful in your claim, then you cure this blind or that one suffering from leprosy’. Then, not only has he not become a polytheist but he will be counted amongst the holy men and will be praised in this action. Now, if after the (apparent) demise of 'Isa ('a), his people ask his holy soul to cure another sick one amongst them, then why should he be regarded as polytheist when the life and death of that person plays no role in polytheism and monotheism. (1)

In short, as per the specification of Qur’an, a group of selected servants of Allah possessed the

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1- For more knowledge about the miracles of 'Isa ('a), refer to Sura Aal 'Imran verse 49 and Sura Ma'ida: verses 100 and 110.

power of performing extraordinary acts. They would utilize these powers in certain circumstances and sometimes too, the people would approach and ask them to put these powers into action. If the Wahhabis say that no one possesses the power to fulfil these affairs, then these verses bear witness contrary to their saying.

If they reckon such asking to be polytheism, then why did Sulayman and the others make such a request? If they say: Asking for fulfilment of one's need from the awliya through extraordinary means involves the belief in their unseen sovereignty then our reply is that unseen sovereignty is of two types; one is pure monotheism and the other the source of polytheism.

If they say that asking miracles only from the divine living personalities is proper and not from the dead, then we reply that life and death are not the basis of polytheism or monotheism.

If they say that asking cure for the sick by unusual means is (like) asking for the actions of Allah from someone other than Him. We say that the basis of polytheism is to consider that person as God and that he is source of divine activities. Asking for some unnatural act is not similar to asking for the acts of Allah from someone other than Him. This is because the standard to judge an Act of Allah is not that it should be above the limits of ordinary laws so that such requests becomes (the same as) requests for His

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Acts from someone else. Rather, the criterion for an Act of Allah is this that the doer should be independent in performing that act. If a doer performs an act relying on the divine power, then to ask such an act will not be considered as asking for the Act of Allah from someone other than Him and it makes no difference whether that act is ordinary or unusual.

Regarding specific request for cure from the servants of Allah, we say: Sometimes it is imagined that asking for cure and the like of it from the awliya is (the same as) asking for the Acts of Allah from someone other than Him and the Qur’an says:

وإذا مرضت فهو یشفین

“And when I am sick, then He restores me to health. (Shu'ara 26:80)”

So, how can we say: “O Prophet of Allah, cure my sickness! The same is true for all that we ask which are of extraordinary nature."


This group has still not been able to differentiate the divine acts from the human acts. They imagine that any act which is not by natural way should be called as the divine act and any act which is having natural aspect and physical cause should be called as human act.

This group do not wish and are unable to compare the scale or measure of divine act from the human act. The measure for divine and human acts is never to see whether that act is ordinary or not; otherwise we have

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to consider the works of magicians as divine acts and consider themselves as Gods.

Rather, the measure in the divine acts is this that the doer depends on Himself in His actions and does not seek help from anyone. Such an act is a divine act. However, if a doer who performs his acts under the light of divine power will be a non-divine one, whether that act is having a physical and ordinary aspect or is something extraordinary.

While performing any act whether ordinary or outside the scope of laws of nature, man always depends on God and seeks help from His power and any act which he performs is fulfilled under the light of such power which is acquired from God. Therefore, possessing such power and similarly, the ability to fulfil our wishes and requests by them are never a source of polytheism because in all the stages we say that God has given them such power and God has authorized them to utilize it.

The great teacher, Imam Khumayni says about divine acts as such:

“The divine act is that act where its performer performs it without interference from outside and without seeking help from another power.”

In other words, the divine act is that act which is performed independently and its performer is needless of others. Non-divine act is exactly opposite to this.

God creates the Universe, gives sustenance and cures the sick without seeking help from any power. No one interferes in His affairs either wholly

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or partially and His Power and Strength is not acquired from anyone.

However, if someone other than God performs an act, whether ordinary and simple or extraordinary and difficult, his power is not from himself. He does not perform that action by his own power. (1)

In other words, whenever we believe a being to be independent either from the viewpoint of existence or influence, we will deviate from the path of monotheism. This is because belief in independence in the original existence is similar to his being needless of God in existence. Such a being can be no one except Allah Who is needless of anything in life and His existence is related only to Himself.

Similarly, if we consider his existence to be created by Allah but believe that he is independent in his actions whether ordinary and simple or extraordinary and difficult then in such a case, we have inclined towards polytheism. This is because independence in action finally leads to independence in the original life and existence and if we consider an ignorant Arab to be polytheist it is because they believed that the charge of running the affairs of the world and or the affairs of the people have been transferred and entrusted to their gods and they are independent in them.

Such was the belief of most of the polytheists during the period of ignorance and at the time of the advent of Islam. They believed that the angels and or the stars (which are created ones)

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1- Kashf al-'asrar, page 51.

were managing the affairs (1) or that at least some of the divine affairs like shafa'a and ‘forgiveness’ were entrusted to them and they were having complete freedom in them.

If the group of Mu'tazalites, who reckon man to be the creation of God (from the viewpoint of existence) but believe him to be independent in actions and efficacy, ponder deeply over their own sayings, then surely they will realize that such a belief is one kind of hidden shirk {polytheism) even though it is not equal to the shirk of the polytheists. The difference between these two types of shirk is clear. One claims independence in managing the affairs of the world and the divine affairs while the other claims independence of man in his own affairs.

Pleading Allah By The Right And Position Of Awliya


One of the point of differences between the Wahhabi sect and the other sects of Islam is this that the former manifest two kinds of pleading as haram (forbidden) and occasionally as shirk (polytheism) in 'ibadat.

These two kinds of pleading are:

(1) Pleading Allah by the right and position of awliya

(2) Pleading to someone other than Allah.

Now, we shall discuss both of these topics in this chapter.

Pleading Allah by the Position of Awliya

The Holy Qur’an praises different groups under such titles as:

الصَّابِرِینَ وَالصَّادِقِینَ وَالْقَانِتِینَ وَالْمُنْفِقِینَ وَالْمُسْتَغْفِرِینَ بِالْأَسْحَارِ

“The patient, and the truthful, and the obedient, and those who spend (benevolently) and those who ask forgiveness in the morning times. (Aal-Imran 3:17)”

Now, if someone in the middle of the night, after the mid-night prayers, turns

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1- When 'Amr bin Lahi asked the Syrians the reason for worshipping idols they replied: “We ask rain from them and they send rain for us, we seek help and they help us”. With this belief, he took the idol of Habal to Mecca. (Refer to Sira Ibn Hisham, vol. 1 page 77).

towards his Lord and pleads God by the right and position of this group and says:

اللهم إنی أسئلک بحق المستغفرین بالأسحار اغفر لی ذنوبی

“O Allah, I ask Thee by the right of those asking forgiveness at twilight to forgive my sins.”

How can one call this action as shirk in 'ibada since shirk in 'ibada is this when we worship someone other than Allah and consider him as God or the source of divine affairs. But, in this benediction, we have not paid attention to other than Allah and we have asked only from Allah and nobody else.

Therefore, if such an action is forbidden, it should have some other reason than shirk. At this stage, we shall remind the Wahhabi writers of one point and it is the fact that the Holy Qur’an has mentioned a criterion for differentiating a polytheist (of course shirk in 'ibada) from a monotheist and with this explanation, has closed any kind of interpretation of the word of polytheist according to one's personal opinion. This criterion is as follows:

وَإِذَا ذُکِرَ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ اشْمَأَزَّتْ قُلُوبُ الَّذِینَ لَا یُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَهِ ۖ وَإِذَا ذُکِرَ الَّذِینَ مِنْ دُونِهِ إِذَا هُمْ یَسْتَبْشِرُونَ

“And when Allah alone is mentioned, the hearts of those who do not believe in the hereafter shrink, and when those besides Him are mentioned, lo! they are joyful. (Zumar 39:45)”

In another verse it describes the offenders who are the same polytheist as such:

إِنَّهُمْ کَانُوا إِذَا قِیلَ لَهُمْ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ یَسْتَکْبِرُونَ

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وَیَقُولُونَ أَئِنَّا لَتَارِکُو آلِهَتِنَا لِشَاعِرٍ مَجْنُونٍ

“Surely they used to behave proudly when it was said to them: there is no god but Allah; And to say: What! shall we indeed give up our gods for the sake of a mad poet? (Safaat 37:35-36)”

According to the contents of these two verses, a polytheist is one whose heart gets disgusted by remembering the Unique God and becomes happy in remembering the others (false gods) and or takes pride if asked to confess in the Oneness of God.

As per this criterion, can we label the one who in the middle of the night, calls nobody but Allah and takes pleasure from His remembrance to such extent that he forbids upon himself the sweet and pleasant sleep and instead, beseeches Him and pleads to Him by the position of the monotheist servants who are His beloved ones as a polytheist? Has he, in such a situation, turned away from the remembrance of Allah or has he acted with haughtiness from confessing His Oneness!?

Why have the Wahhabi writers with unknown and imaginary norms, named all the monotheists as polytheists and reckoned themselves to be the beloved ones of Allah?

By paying attention to this criterion, one cannot call ninety-nine percent of the people of qibla as polytheists and reckon only the group of Najdi's to be monotheists.

The interpretation of shirk in 'ibada has not been left to our discretion and we have no authority to interpret it in the way we

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like and label any group that we assume as polytheists.

Amir al-Mu'minin and His Pleading to God by the Position of the Holy Ones

In the prayers of Amir al-mu'minin we can find such pleadings very clearly.

After finishing the night ‘Nafila’ (Supererogatory) prayers, Imam would recite this dua:

اللهم إنی أسئلک بحُرمه من عاذ بک منک ، ولجأ إلی عزک ، واستظل بفیئک واعتصم بحبلک ، ولم یثق إلا بک.

"O Allah, I ask Thee by the honour of the one who seeks refuge in Thy repentance (he thinks of no shelter other than thee) and who seeks protection in Thy Honour and who is under the shadow of Thy protection and who has seized Thy rope and has not attached himself to anyone except Thee.” (1)

In another invocation too, which Imam 'Ali ('a) taught one of his followers, he says as such:

وبحق السائلین علیک ، والراغبین إلیک ، والمُتعوذین بک ، والمُتصغرین إلیک ، وبحق کل عبدٍ متعبد لک فی کل برٍ أو

بحرٍ أو سهلٍ أو جبل أدعوک دعاء من اشتدّت فاقته

“O Allah, by the right of the questioners and those who turn their attention and seek refuge in Thee; and those who are humble before Thee; and by the right of every worshipper who worships Thee in land and in sea, in desert and in the mountains, we call Thee; like the calling of the one whose helplessness has reached the extremes.” (2)

Is it not that such soul provoking prayers and expression of such feelings before Allah brings no result other than strengthening monotheism! (except for Allah there is no other refuge) and

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1- Sahifat al-'Alawiyya, Islamic Publications, page 370.
2- Sahifat al-'Alawiyya, page 51.

what else can we derive from expression of affection for the friends of Allah which itself is one way of paying attention to Allah!?

Therefore, we should overlook the charge of blasphemy and polytheism which can be found more than any other thing in the ‘kit’ of the Wahhabis and the matter should be looked from another angle.

On this basis, some of the moderates amongst them have mooted the matter of ‘pleading Allah by the awliya’ within the limits of prohibition and aversion. Contrary to the extreme al-San'ani who ruled the matter of pleading within the circle of blasphemy and polytheism, they do not talk about it as blasphemy and polytheism.

Now that the main theme of discussion has been made clear and it is known that the matter should be discussed within the framework of haram (forbidden) and makruh (abominable) it is necessary to prove the authenticity of such tawassul (recourse).

Occurrence of such pleadings in Islam


In Islamic traditions too, one can find such type of pleadings and with the presence of such firm traditions that have come down partly from the Holy Prophet (s) and partly from his Ahl al-Bayt, one cannot consider such pleadings as haram or makruh.

The Holy Prophet (s) trained that blind person to say as such:

اللهم إنی أسألک وأتوجه إلیک بنبیک محمد نبیّ الرحمه

“Oh God, I ask you and seek your attention for the sake of your prophet Muhammad, the merciful Prophet.” (1)

Abu Sa'id al-Khudri has narrated from the Holy Prophet (s) the following du'a:


p: 254

1- Sunan Ibn Maja, vol.1 page 441; Musnad Ahmad, vol. 4 page 138; Mustadrak al-Hakim, vol.1 page 313; and others.

إنی أسألک بحق السائلین علیک وأسألک بحق ممشای هذا

“Oh God I ask for the sake of those who ask for and I ask you for the sake of the followers of this matter.” (1)

Adam ('a) repented as such:

أسألک بحق محمد إلا غفرت لی

“I ask you by the right of Muhammad to forgive me.” (2)

When the Holy Prophet (s) buried the mother of 'Ali ('a), he recited this invocation for her:

اغفر لأمی فاطمه بنت أسد ووسِّع علیها مدخلها بحق نبیک والأنبیاء الذین من قبلی

"Forgive my mother Fatima the daughter of Asad and by the right of your Prophet and the Prophets before him and make her place vast and wide (and save her from the torment of grave)." (3)

Although in these types of sentences the word of pleading has not been explicitly mentioned yet, the true purpose of them, by the decree of refers to pleading to Allah by the rights of the awliya. When they say “O God, I ask You by the right of the questioners" it means “I plead You by their rights.”

The supplications that have been narrated from the fourth Imam ('a) in Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya is itself a clear proof upon the authenticity and soundness of such tawassul. The splendid meanings of the supplications in al-Sahifa and the eloquence and meanings of sentences makes us needless to mention its authenticity and its attribution to Imam.

Imam al-Sajjad ('a) used to secretly converse with Allah on the day of Arafat as such;

بحق من أنتجبت

p: 255

1- Sunan Ibn Maja, vol.1 page 261, 262; Musnad Ahmad, vol. 3 tradition 21.
2- al-Durr al-manthur, vol.1 page 59; Mustadrak al-Hakim, vol. 2 page 615; Ruh al-Ma'ani, vol. 1 page 217. (In the chapter of tawassul, you had been acquainted with this tradition with greater context).
3- Ibn al-Sabbagh al-Maliki (d. 855 AH), al-Fusul al-muhimma, page 31.

من خلقک وبمن اصطفیته لنفسک بحق من اخترت ، من بریّتک ، ومن إجتبیت لشأنک ، بحق من

وصلت طاعته ومن نُطت معاداته بمعاداتک

“O God, by the right of those whom You have selected from Your other creatures; by the right of those people whom You have vested authority and have created them for acquainting (the people) of Your position; by the right of those pure ones whom You have connected their obedience to Your obedience and their enmity to Your enmity.” (1)

When Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) performed ziyara of his great grandfather Amir al-mu'minin ('a), he concluded his prayers as such:

اللهم استجب دعائی واقبل ثنائی واجمع بینی وبین أولیائی بحق محمد وعلیّ وفاطمه والحسن والحسین

“O God respond to my prayers and accept my glorification (of You) and by the right of Muhammad, 'Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan and al-Husayn (‘a) unite us with Thy beloved ones.” (2)

It is not only Imam al-Sajjad ('a) and Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) who in their invocations pleaded to Allah by the right of His beloved ones but, in the supplications of other Shi'a Imams too, one can find such tawassul.

The noble leader, Imam Husayn ibn 'Ali ('a) in one of the supplication says:

اللهم إنی أسألک بکلماتک ومعاقد عزک وسُکان سماواتک وأرضک وأنبیائک ورسلک أن تستجیب لی فقد رهقنی من

أمری عسر فأسألک أن تُصلی علی محمد وأل محمد وأن تجعل من أمری یُسرأً

“O Allah, I ask You by Your words and the centre of Your honour; and by the inhabitants of the heavens and the land; and

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1- Sahifat al-Sajjadiyya, du'a No.47.
2- Ziyara of Aminullah.

by your Prophets and Messengers that You answer my prayers for my affairs have become difficult. I ask You to send salutations upon Muhammad and his progeny and to make my affairs easy.”

These kinds of supplications are so numerous that narrating all of them will lengthen our discussion. It is better that we cut short our discussion here and mention the reasoning and objections of the opposition.

First Objection


The scholars of Islam are unanimous in their decision that pleading to Allah by the way of a creature or by the right of a creature is haram (forbidden). (1)


The meaning of unanimity or rather consensus is this that the scholars of Islam in every period of history or in all the eras are unanimous in their opinion over a decree derived from the commandments.

In such a case, the viewpoint of the scholars of Ahl al Sunnah and their consensus of opinion is itself one of the divine proofs. The Shi'a scholars consider this to be a divine proof from this viewpoint that it is springs from the Infallible Imam's counsel (who lives among the people) and his approval.

Now we ask whether such type of consensus of opinion exists in this matter. We keep aside the Shi'a and other Ahl al Sunnah scholars and consider the opinion of the leaders of the four schools of thought only. Have the leaders of these four schools of thought given fatwa (verdict) that the matter of pleading is forbidden? If they have

p: 257

1- Kashf al-'irtiyab, page 32 narrated from al-Hadiyyat al-saniyya.

given such verdict, we request them to produce the text of their verdicts along with the name of the book and the page number.

Basically, such type of tawassul has not been propounded in the books of fiqh (jurisprudence) and hadith belonging to the scholars of Ahl al Sunnah so that they can express their opinion about them. In such a case, how can there be unanimity and consensus as claimed by the author of al-Hadiyyat al-saniyya? The only person whom he says has prohibited this matter is an unknown figure by the name of al-'Izz bin 'Abd al-Salam. As if the opinions of all the scholars of Islam is considered by the author of al-Hadiyyat al-saniyya into the single opinion of al-'Izz bin 'Abd al-Salam.

Thereafter, he has narrated from Abu Hanifa and his student Abu Yusuf that both of them too have said that it is makruh (abominable) to say ‘by the right of so and so’.

In short, there does not exist any proof in the name of consensus in this matter. What worth can the fatwa (verdict) of these two persons have in comparison to the firm tradition of the Holy Prophet (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt which according to the consensus of the traditionists of Ahl al Sunnah are and their sayings a proof.(1) Moreover, the authenticity of attributing this fatwa to Abu Hanifa is not proved.

Second Objection


إن المسأله بحق المخلوق لا تجوز لأنه لا حق للمخلوق علی الخالق

“Asking Allah by the right of a

p: 258

1- Hadith al-thaqalayn is an authentic tradition and none denies its authenticity except for the obstinate.

creature is not permissible because the one who is created has no right before the Creator.” (1)


Such reasoning is nothing but ijtihad (independent reasoning) compared to explicit text. If really a creature has no right before the Creator then why in the previous traditions, Adam ('a) and the Holy Prophet (s) of Islam (s) pleaded o Allah by such rights and asked Allah by these same rights?

Besides, how should we justify the verses of the Qur’an? In certain instances, the Qur’an has explicitly indicated that the servants of Allah to possess a right upon Allah. The same is mentioned in Islamic traditions (hadiths).

These are the verses:

وکان حقاً علینا نصرا المؤمنین

“And helping the believers is ever incumbent on Us. (Rum 30:47)”

وعداً علیه حقاً فی التوراه والإنجیل

“A promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Injil (Tauba 9:111)”

کذلک حقاً علینا نُنج المؤمنین

“It is binding on us (that) We deliver the believers. (Yunus 11:103)”

إنما التوبه علی الله للذین یعملون السؤء بجهاله

“Repentance with Allah is only for those who do evil in ignorance. (Nisa 4:18)”

Is it proper to interpret so many of these verses just for the sake of propagation of groundless dogmatic ideas?

Now some examples from traditions:

حقٌ علی الله عون من نکح إلتماس العفاف مما حرَّم الله

“It is a right upon Allah to help the one who marries because of protecting his chastity from the forbidden acts.” (2)

قال رسول الله : ثلاثه حق علی الله عونُهم: الغازی فی سبیل الله والمکاتب الذی یرید

p: 259

1- Kashf al-'irtiyab, narrated from al-Qaduri.
2- al-Suyuti, al-Jami' al-saghir, vol. 2 page 33.

الأداء ، والناکح الذی یرید التعنف

“The Holy Prophet (s) said: “There are three groups of people to whom help is an obligation upon Allah. A warrior in the path of Allah, a servant who agrees to pay a sum to his master for his release and a youth who wishes to protect his honour by way of marriage.” (1)

أتدری ما حق العباد علی الله...

“Do you not see the obligation which is upon Allah with regards to His slaves?” (2)

Let it not remain unmentioned here that, essentially, no person is having any right even though he may worship God and remain humble before him for ages. This is because whatever a person possesses is from Allah and he has not used any of his own resources in the way of Allah so that it can be compensated in the form of reward.

Therefore, the meaning of this right in such cases is the very divine rewards and positions which Allah, due to His special favours has bestowed upon them and entrusted (these favours) upon Himself. Such a right (or obligation) upon Allah is the sign of His Greatness and Magnificence.

No creature has any right upon Allah except if Allah, due to His Mercy and Favour, justifies it upon Himself and shows that His creatures as creditors and Himself as debtor.

This matter that a creature possesses a right upon Him is similar to seeking of loan by Allah from His poor servants. These commitments and obligations which He has promised

p: 260

1- Sunan Ibn Maja, vol. 2 page 841.
2- Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihaya, under "h q q"

is due to His Grace and Honour. Moreover, with utmost Grace, He has considered Himself to be indebted to His virtuous servants and has presented them as owners of rights and Himself as and an obligor. (1)

Swearing Upon Other Than Allah

Swearing (someone or something) upon other than Allah is a matter which is very sensitive for the Wahhabis.

One of their writers by the name of al-San'ani in his book Tathir al-'i'tiqad has reckoned it to be the source of shirk (polytheism) (2) and the author of al-Hadiyyat al-saniyya has called it as minor shirk. (3)

However we shall, by the Grace of God, discuss the matter without any prejudice and will take into account the Qur’an and the true sunnah of the Prophet (s) and inerrant Imams as the radiant of source for our guidance in this matter.

Our Proofs for Permissibility of Swearing upon Other than Allah

First Proof

Qur’an is the leader, the al-Thaql al-'akbar (Greater Weight) and the living symbol of every Muslim. In this book, one can find tens of swearings upon other than Allah which, if we were to gather all of them in this book, it would lengthen our discussion.

In Sura al Shams alone, Allah Himself swore by nine things from His creation. They are: Sun, its light, moon, day, night, heavens, land and the human soul. (4)

Similarly, in Sura al-Nazi'at, one can find such swearing for three things (5) and in Sura al-Mursalat for two things(6). In the same manner, such swearings have been mentioned in Sura al-Buruj, Sura al-Tariq, Sura al-Qalam, Sura al-'Asr, and Sura al-Balad.


p: 261

1- Sura al-Baqara: 245
2- Kashf al-'irtiyab, page 336 narrated from the book Tathir al-'i'tiqad, page 14.
3- Above reference, narrated from the book al-Hadiyyat al-saniyya, page 25.
4- Sura al-Shams surah: 91 verse: 1 to 7.
5- Sura al-Nazi'at surah: 79 verse: 1 to 3.
6- Sura al-Mursalat surah: 77 verse: 1 to 3.

more, we remind you of some examples from the Qur’an.

وَالتِّینِ وَالزَّیْتُونِ {1}

وَطُورِ سِینِینَ {2}

وَهَٰذَا الْبَلَدِ الْأَمِینِ {3}

“I swear by the fig and the olive, and Mount Sinai, and this city made secure.” (Teen 95:1-3)

وَاللَّیْلِ إِذَا یَغْشَیٰ {1}

وَالنَّهَارِ إِذَا تَجَلَّیٰ {2}

“I swear by the night when it draws a veil, and the day when it shines in brightness. (Lail 92:1-2)”

وَالْفَجْرِ {1}

وَلَیَالٍ عَشْرٍ {2}

وَالشَّفْعِ وَالْوَتْرِ {3}

وَاللَّیْلِ إِذَا یَسْرِ {4}

“I swear by the daybreak, And the ten nights, And the even and the odd, And the night when it departs. (Fajr 89:1-4)”

وَالطُّورِ {1}

وَکِتَابٍ مَسْطُورٍ {2}

فِی رَقٍّ مَنْشُورٍ {3}

وَالْبَیْتِ الْمَعْمُورِ {4}

وَالسَّقْفِ الْمَرْفُوعِ {5}

وَالْبَحْرِ الْمَسْجُورِ {6}

"I swear by the Mountain, And the Book written. In an outstretched fine parchment. And the House (Ka'ba) that is visited, and the elevated canopy, and the swollen sea. (Tur 52:1-6)”

لعمرک إنهم لفی سکرتهم یعمهون

“By your life! they were blindly wandering on in their intoxication. (Hijr 15:72)”

With such successive swearings in Qur’an, can one say that it is polytheism and (haram) forbidden?

Qur’an is the book of guidance and it is an example to follow and a model to adopt. If such a matter was forbidden for the people it was necessary for it (i.e. Qur’an) to mention that such swearings are the specific to Allah only.

Some of the ungifted men who are unaware of the Qur’anic aims, reply in this manner that it is possible that a thing issued from God's side is good but the same thing issued from someone other than God may

p: 262

not be good.

However the reply is obvious. Because truly, if the reality of swearing upon someone or something other than God is polytheism and same as likening that person to God, then why such an absolute or a minor polytheism has been committed by God? Is it right that God practically considers a partner for Himself but forbids others from considering such a partner to Him!?

Second Proof

In certain instances, the Holy Prophet (s) has sweared upon someone other than Allah.

(1) Tradition from Sahih Muslim

جاء رجل إلی النبیّ فقال یا رسول الله أی الصدقه أعظم اجراً؟ فقال أما وابیک لتنبأنه ، أن تصدق وأنت صحیح شجیح تخشی الفقر وتأمل البقاء

“A person approached the Holy Prophet (s) and said: ‘O Prophet of Allah, which charity bears the greatest reward?’ The Holy Prophet (s) replied: ‘I swear by your father that very soon, I will inform you about it. The charity which bears the greatest reward is the charity that you give when you are healthy and in need of it and when you fear from poverty and think of your future life.’ (1)

(2) Another Tradition from Sahih Muslim

جاء رجل إلی رسول الله مِن نجد یسأل عن الإسلام فقال رسول الله (صلی الله علیه وأله): خمس صلوات فی الیوم واللیل فقال: هل علیَّ غیرهم؟ قال: لا إلا أن تطوَّع وصیام شهر رمضان فقال: هل علیَّ غیره؟ قال لا أن تطوَّع

وذکر له رسول الله (صلی الله علیه وأله) الزکاه فقال: هل علیًّ غیره قال لا إلا أن تطوَّع فأدبر الرجل وهو

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1- Sahih Muslim, Book of zakat part 3; chapter of ‘Best charity’ page 94.


والله لا أزید علی هذا ولا أنقص منه فقال رسول الله أفلح وأبیه إن صدق أو دخل الجنه وأبیه إن صدق.

"A person from Najd approached the Holy Prophet (s) and questioned him about Islam. The Holy Prophet (s) replied: ‘The foundations of Islam are the following:

(A) The daily five prayers. The Najdi man said: ‘Is there any other salat other than these salat?’

The Holy Prophet (s) replied: ‘Yes they are mustahab (recommendable).’

(B) Fasting in the month of Ramadan. The man said: ‘Is there any other fasting other than these fasting?’ The Holy Prophet (s) replied: ‘Yes they are mustahab.’

(C) Zakat. The man said: ‘Is there any other zakat?’

The Holy Prophet (s) replied? ‘Yes they are mustahab.’ The Najdi man left the Holy Prophet (s) while saying: ‘I shall neither add nor deduct.’

The Holy Prophet (s) said: ‘I swear by his father that he will be successful if he speaks the truth; I swear by his father that he will enter paradise if he speaks the truth.’ (1)

(3) Tradition from al-Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal:

فلعمری لأن تکلم بمعروف وتنهی عن مُنکر خیر من أن تسکت

“I swear by my life that ‘enjoining good and forbidding evil’ is better than silence.” (2)

There are many other similar traditions and it will get very lengthy if we were to narrate all of them. (3)

Amir al-mu'minin Ali bin Abi Talib ('a) who is an esteemed example of Islamic training has repeatedly sweared by his life in his sermons, letters

p: 264

1- Sahih Muslim, part 1 chapter of ‘What is Islam and its qualities’ page 32.
2- Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol. 5 page 225.
3- Refer to Musnad Ahmad, vol.5 page 212; and Sunan Ibn Maja vol. 4 page 995 and vol.1 page 255.

and sayings. (1) Even the first Caliph swears in his conversations by the father of the addressee. (2)

The Four Schools of Thought and the Matter of Swearing upon Other than Allah


Before examining the reasoning of the Wahhabis, it is necessary to know the fatawa (verdicts) of the leaders of the four schools of thought. (3)

The Hanafis believe that swearing such as “I swear by your father and your life” and the like of it are makruh (abominable).

The Shafi'is believe that swearing by someone other than Allah is abominable but not similar seeking partner for Him and not as a trust.

The Malikis say: “Swearing by the great and holy existences like Prophet, Ka'aba and the like of them has two interpretations: makruh and haram and what is famous is to honor.”

The Hanbali's believe that swearing by someone other than Allah and His qualities is forbidden even though the swearing may be in the name of Prophet or wali from one of his His awliya.

Let us overlook this fact that all these fatawa (verdicts) are a kind of ijtihad in the face of the clear texts of Qur’an and sunnah of prophet and awliya Allah and due to the closure of the door of ijtihad for the Ahl al Sunnah, the contemporary scholars have no option but to follow their views.

Let us overlook the fact that al-Qastallani has narrated in (al-Irshad al-Sari, vol. 9 page 358) from Malik ibn Anas about the matter of being abominable. And let us once more overlook this fact that attributing prohibition of such a

p: 265

1- Nahj al-Balagha, sermons 23, 25, 56, 85, 161, 168, 182, 187 and letters no. 6, 9 and 54.
2- Malik bin Anas, al-Muwatta', (along with commentary of al-Zurqani), vol. 4 page 159.
3- al-Fiqh 'ala al-madhahib al-'arba'a, book of al-Yamin, vol. 1 page 75 (Egyptian print).

swearing according to the Hanbalis is not certain because, Ibn Qudama in al-Mughni’ that was written with the aim of reviving the Hanbali fiqh (jurisprudence) writes: “A group among our companions have said that swearing by the Holy Prophet (s) is a promise which if not fulfilled would invite kaffara (atonement). It has been narrated from Ahmad ibn Hanbal that anyone who swears by the right of Messenger of Allah and then breaks it, has to pay kaffara since the right of the Holy Prophet (s) is one of the pillars of shahada (profession of Islam). Therefore, swearing in his name is (like) swearing by Allah and both invite kaffara. (1)

From these narrations, it is obvious that it can never be said that any of the Imam of the four schools of thought have decisively given any verdict on the prohibition of this matter.

After getting acquainted with the views and opinions of the jurisprudents of the four schools of thought, we shall now discuss two traditions which the Wahhabis have used as a pretext for unjustly shedding innocent blood (2) and accusing millions of Muslims with blasphemy.

First Tradition

إن رسول الله سمع عمر وهو یقول: وابی فقال إن الله ینهاکم أن تحلفوا بأبائکم ومن کان حالفاً فلیحلف بالله أو یسکت

“The Holy Prophet (s) heard ‘Umar swearing by his father. The Holy Prophet (s) said: ‘God has forbidden you (all) from swearing by your fathers. Anyone who wishes to swear should swear by God or else should keep silent.’” (3)

Firstly, swearing

p: 266

1- Al-Mughni, vol. 9 page 517.
2- The Wahhabis once attacked Karbala in the year 1216 AH and again in the year 1259 AH and, in these attacks, they did not spare the young and the old. Within three days, they killed 6000 people and, like the army of Yazid, they plundered the precious things inside the shrine. Why? Just because they were seeking tawassul by the progeny of the Holy Prophet (s) and were expressing their love towards them.
3- Sunan Ibn Maja, vol. 1 page 277; Sunan al-Tirmidhi, vol. 4 page 109; Sunan al-Nasa'i, vol. 7 page 485; Sunan al-kubra, vol. 10 page 29.

by their fathers was prohibited because of the fact that they were polytheists and idol-worshippers and such people did not hold any esteem or honour so that one could swear by them. As it has come down in some of the traditions that one should not swear either by the fathers or by the devils (the idols of the Arab) (1)

Secondly, the prohibition to swear by the father is at times of judgement and hostilities. This is because as per the consensus of the Islamic scholars, at times of hostilities, no swearing is allowed except for the swearing by Allah and His attributes which are a reference to His Essence.

By paying attention to what has been said, how can one dare to say that the Holy Prophet (s) has prohibited and restrained us from swearing by the holy personalities like the Prophets and Awliya. His prohibition was only under special circumstances and was not having a general application.

Second Tradition


جاء ابن عمر رجل فقال: احلف بالکعبه قال لا ولکن احلف برب الکعبه فإن عمر کان یحلف بأبیه فقال رسول الله (صلی الله علیه وأله): لا تحلف بأبیک فإن من حلف بغیر الله فقد اشرک.

“A person approached the son of ‘Umar and said: ‘I swear by the Ka’ba.’ The son of ‘Umar said: ‘You should swear by the Lord of the Ka’ba because when ‘Umar swore by his father, the Prophet (s) ordered him not to do so since anyone who swears by someone other than Allah has considered a

p: 267

1- Sunan al-kubra, vol.1 page 29 narrated from Sahih Muslim, Sunan al-Nasa'i vol.7 page 7 and Sunan Ibn Maja, vol. 1 page 278. In another tradition it has come as: لا تحلفوا بأبائکم ولا بأمهاتکم ولا بالأنداد (Sunan al-Nasa'i vol.7 page 6).

partner for Allah.’ (1)


By paying attention to the previous reasoning that recommends swearing to someone other than Allah, this tradition should be described in the following manner.

This tradition consists of three parts:

(1) A person approached Ibn ’Umar and wished to swear by the Ka’ba but the latter prevented him from doing so.

(2) ‘Umar swears by his father in the presence of the Holy Prophet (s) and the latter prevents him from doing so as it was the source of shirk.

(3) The Ijtihad (independent reasoning) of Ibn ’Umar covered the Holy Prophet's saying and included swearing by the holy things such as Ka’ba too in the Prophet's saying.

Under these circumstances, the way of reconciling this tradition and the previous traditions (where the Holy Prophet (s) and others have sworn by someone other than God without any apprehension) is this that the saying of the Prophet, (that anyone who swears by someone other than God has committed shirk) is confined to instances where that person who is sworn by, is a polytheist and not a Muslim and holy like the Qur’an, Ka’ba or the Prophet. Thus the ijtihad of Ibn 'Umar who has derived a wider meaning from the saying of the Prophet is an argument only for himself and not for others.

The reason that swearing by the ‘polytheist father’ is one kind of shirk is because such swearing is apparently considered to be an approval of their ways and means.

This was an explanation of the

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1- Sunan al-kubra, vol. 10 page 29. Musnad Ahmad, vol.1 page 47 and vol. 2 page 34, 67, 78 and 125; Sunan al-Bayhaqi, vol. 10 page 29.

ijtihad of Ibn 'Umar who derived a wider meaning from the tradition which has come down in the case of swearing by the polytheists. Moreover, he has also applied this to holy things too (for example, Ka’ba). So, there's another analysis for this tradition which is much more clear and evident than the analysis of Ibn 'Umar.

Now, we shall discuss his second analysis.

Second Analysis

The saying of the Holy Prophet (s), that من حلف بغیر الله فقد أشرک is related to swearing by the devils gods such as Lat and 'Uzza and not swearing by the polytheist father; leaving aside the matter of swearing by the holy things like Ka’ba. It is the ijtihad of Ibn 'Umar who adopted this rule (which is exclusively related to the idols) to the two cases (swearing by the polytheist and swearing by the Ka’ba) or else, there was no such extension in the Holy Prophet's saying, the proof being that in another tradition, the Prophet (s) says:

من حلف فقال فی حلفه بالات والعززی فلیقل: لا إله إلا الله

"Anyone who swears and swears by Lat and 'Uzza and then immediately says “There is no god except Allah………."(1)

This tradition shows that the sediment of the period of ignorance was still prevailing in the minds of the people who were yet following the ancient habits like the practise of swearing by the idols and it was for the eradication of this ugly practise that the Holy Prophet (s) uttered such a general

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1- Sunan al-Nasa'i, vol. 7 page 8

statement. But Ibn 'Umar has applied this to both swearing by the holy thing, as well as, swearing by a polytheistic father.

The proof that the saying of the Holy Prophet (s) is neither connected to swearing by the holy thing nor connected to swearing by a polytheist father and the evidence that it is Ibn 'Umar who has combined the Prophet's saying with two cases and even to the swearing of ‘Umar by his father. The following is the text of another hadith:

Imam Hanbal in his al-Musnad vol. 2 page 34 has narrated the second tradition in such a manner that it shows that such comparison is the work of Ibn 'Umar. Here is the text of the tradition:

کان یحلف أبی فنهاه النبیّ قال: من حلف بشئ دون الله فقد أشرک

“‘Umar swore by his father; then the Holy Prophet (s) prohibited him from doing so and said: ‘The one who swears by someone other than Allah has adopted polytheism.’”

Just as you can see, the sentence من حلف has come without واوعاطفه (parataxis) or فاء and if the second tradition was below the tradition of ‘swearing by the father’, then it was necessary for the second tradition to come with the word of عطف (parataxis).

Again the writer of al-Musnad in vol. 2, page 67 has narrated the tradition of من حلفin an independent form without the incident of ‘Umar swearing. It is as such.

من حلف بغیر الله قال فیه قولاً شدیداً

“The one who

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swears by someone other than God has said an unfair thing and or the Prophet (s) has said something severe about him for example ‘has adopted polytheism.’”


One of the matters of disputes between the Wahhabis and other Islamic sects is the matter of pleading and calling the pious personalities and awliya Allah in times of hardship and difficulties.

Pleading and asking help from the Prophets and awliya Allah near their graves or otherwise is completely in

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vogue among the Islamic sects and they consider it neither to be shirk (polytheism) nor contradicting the Islamic foundations. On the other hand, the Wahhabis have strongly rejected such pleadings and for intimidating their opponents, they set forth some verses of Qur’an which are not having the least connection to what they claim and always raise the following verse as their slogan.

وأن المساجد لله فلا تدعوا مع الله احداً

“The mosques belong to Allah; do not call anyone with Allah. (Jinn 72:18)”

For acquainting the respected readers with all such verses which are the greatest excuse in the hands of the Wahhabis, we shall present them here and then explain their contents. The Wahhabis prove their point by producing the afore-mentioned and the following verses.

له دعوه الحق والذین یدعون من دونه لا یستجیبون لهم بشئ

“To Him is due the true prayer; and those whom they pray to beside Allah give them no answer. (Raad 13:14)”

وَالَّذِینَ تَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِهِ لَا یَسْتَطِیعُونَ نَصْرَکُمْ وَلَا أَنْفُسَهُمْ یَنْصُرُونَ

“And those whom you call upon besides Him are not able to help you, nor can they help themselves. (A’raf 7:197)”

وَالَّذِینَ تَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِهِ مَا یَمْلِکُونَ مِنْ قِطْمِیرٍ

“And those whom you call upon besides Him do not control a straw. (Fatir 35:13)”

إِنَّ الَّذِینَ تَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ عِبَادٌ أَمْثَالُکُمْ

“Surely those whom you call on besides Allah are in a state of subjugation like yourselves. (A’raf 7:194)”

قل ادعوا الذین زعمتم من دونه فلا یملکون کشف الضُر عنکم ولا تحویلاً

“Say: Call on those whom you assert

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besides Him, so they shall not control the removal of distress from you nor (its) transference. (Bani-Israel 17:56)”

أولئک الذین یدعون یبتغون إلی ربهم الوسیله

“Those whom they call upon, themselves seek the means of access to their Lord. (Bani-Israel 17:57)”

ولا تدع من دون الله ما لا ینفعک ولا یضُرک

“And do not call besides Allah on that which can neither benefit you nor harm you. (Yunus 11:106)”

إن تدعوهم لا یسمعوا دعاءکم

“If you call on them they shall not hear your call. (Fatir 35:14)”

ومن أضل ممن یدعوا من دون الله من لا یستجیب له إلی یوم القیمه

“And who is in greater error than he who calls besides Allah upon those that will not answer him till the day of resurrection. (Ahqaaf 46:5)”

The Wahhabis conclude from these verses that calling the awliya and virtuous people after their death is 'ibada and worship of them, and that anyone who says, “O Muhammad” either near his grave or from far off; this calling itself is 'ibada.

Al-San'ani narrating from Kashf al-'irtiyab, pages 273-274, mentions in his book Tanzih al-i'tiqad as such:

وقد سمَّی الله الدعاء عباده بقوله: ادعونی استجب لکم إن الذین یستکبرون عن عبادتی ، ومن هتف باسم نبی أو صالح بشئ أو قال اشفع لی إلی الله فی حاجتی أو استشفع بک إلی الله فی حاجتی أو نحو ذلک أو قال إقض دینی أو إشف مریضی أو نحو ذلک فقد دعا النبی والصالح والدعاء عباده بل مُخّها فیکون قد بد غیر الله وصار مشرکاً إذ لا یُتمّ التوحید إلا بتوحیده تعالی فی الإلهیه

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بإعتقاد أن لا خالق ولا رازق غیره العباده بعدم عباده غیره ولو ببعض العبادات وعُباد الأصنام إنما اشرکوا لعدم توحید الله فی العباده.

“The Holy Qur’an has unconditionally declared pleadings and callings towards someone other than Allah as 'ibada; the reason being that in the beginning of verse, it says أدعونی أستجب لکم and following that it says:

یستکبرون عن عبادتی

Therefore, anyone who calls the Prophet (s) and or a pious person or asks to intercede for fulfilling his or her needs, or says “You help in repaying my debt”, or says “You cure my sickness”, then in these cases this person has, with such sayings, worshipped them because the reality of worship is nothing but calling someone. As a result of such calling, he has worshipped (someone) other than Allah and has become a polytheist since monotheism of divinity (1) (i.e there is no Creator and Sustainer except Allah) should be accompanied with monotheism of worship which means not worshipping anyone except Him.”


There is no doubt about this fact that the word of دُعا in Arabic means ‘to call’ and the term عبادات means ‘to worship’ and one can never reckon these two words to be synonymous to each other; and say that both give the same meaning. In other words, one cannot say that every call and plead is 'ibada (worship) because: Firstly, in the Holy Qur’an, the word of دعوت (calling) has been used in instances where it does not give the meaning of ‘worship’ at

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1- Contrary to the terminology of the Wahhabis, al-San'ani has used the word of "الوهی"where as he should have, from their viewpoint, used the word of "ربونی"



قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّی دَعَوْتُ قَوْمِی لَیْلًا وَنَهَارًا

“He said: ‘O Lord! I called my nation (towards Thee) day and night. (Nuh 71:5)’”

Can we say that the intention of Nuh was to say “I worshipped my nation day and night!”?

The Qur'an quotes Satan as saying:

کَانَ لِیَ عَلَیْکُمْ مِنْ سُلْطَانٍ إِلَّا أَنْ دَعَوْتُکُمْ فَاسْتَجَبْتُمْ لِی

“I did not have any authority upon you except that I called you (towards evil deeds) and you obliged. (Ibrahim 14:22)”

Is it possible for anyone to interpret Satan's calling to mean that he has worshipped his followers!? If it was an act of worship it was from the side of the followers of Satan and not from Satan himself.

In this verse and tens of other un-mentioned verses, the word of دعوت (calling) has not been used in the meaning of عبادات (worship). Therefore, one cannot say that دعوتand عبادات are synonymous to each other and based on this, conclude that if anyone seeks help and calls the Prophets or the virtuous people, he has worshipped them. (1)

Secondly, by دُعا in these verses is not meant as absolute calling but refers to some special calling which can be synonymous to the word of عبادات because, all these verses have come down with regard to the idol-worshippers who believed their idols to be small gods who were entrusted with some of the divine ranks and who possessed some kind of independence in their affairs.

Let it not be unsaid that humbleness and humility or any kind of utterance

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1- From the viewpoint of relationship, calling and worship (general and special) is in one direction. In case of asking help from someone other than Allah but as a doer depending on God, it shows calling and not worship. But in practical glorifications like ruku’ and sajda which is accompanied with the belief in the divinity of the opposite person it denotes ‘worship’ and notدُعا . In some instances, such as salat, both دُعا and عبادات are applicable.

or behaviour in front of a creature either as a big God or small god if it is with this intention that he is God, Lord, and the Owner of affairs like shafa'a and forgiveness, then it will be 'ibada or worship. There is no doubt that the humility of the idol-worshippers and their pleading and calling were before those idols which they depicted as the owners of the right of intercession etc., and considered them as the independent authority in the affairs of this world and the Hereafter.

It is apparent that under these circumstances, any kind of pleading and calling towards these creatures is 'ibada or worship. The most obvious witness to the fact that their pleadings and callings were accompanied with the belief in their divinity is this verse:

فَمَا أَغْنَتْ عَنْهُمْ آلِهَتُهُمُ الَّتِی یَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مِنْ شَیْءٍ

“So their gods whom they called upon besides Allah did not avail them ought. (Hud 11:101)”

Therefore, the verses under discussion have no relation to the main point of our discussion.

The topic of our discussion is pleading of one slave to another slave who neither considers him as God nor Lord nor as the Owner and independent authority in the worldly and heavenly affairs. Rather, he reckons him to be a beloved servant of Allah who has appointed him to the position of Prophethood and Imamate and promised to accept his prayers with regards to His slaves. As verse says:

وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذْ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ جَاءُوکَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا اللَّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ

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الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُوا اللَّهَ تَوَّابًا رَحِیمًا

“And had they, when they were unjust to themselves, come to you and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Apostle had (also) asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful. (Nisa 4:64)”

Thirdly, in the aforementioned verses itself, there is a clear evidence that by دعوتis not meant absolute asking for ones affairs and needs but refers to asking and calling in the sense of Ibadat and worship. For this reason, in one of the verses, the word of 'ibada immediately follows the word of دعوتgiving the same meaning. Like:

وَقَالَ رَبُّکُمُ ادْعُونِی أَسْتَجِبْ لَکُمْ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِینَ یَسْتَکْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِی سَیَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِینَ

“And your Lord says: Call upon Me, I will answer you, surely those who are too proud for My service shall soon enter hell abased. (Ghafir 40:60)”

Just as you must have noticed, in the beginning of the verse the word of ادعونی and following the same verse the word of عبادتیhas come and this clearly shows that by this دعوتis meant some special pleading and beseeching before a creature whom they recognized by the divine qualities.

The master of the prostrators, Imam Zayn al-'Abidin (‘a) says in his supplication as such:

فسمیت دعاءک عباده وترکه استکباراً وتوعَّدت علی ترکه دخول جهَّنهم داخرین

“Thou have named Thy calling as worship and its abandonment as pride and Thou have promised a miserable entry into the fire for those who abandon it.” (1)

And sometimes in two verses where the contents are similar, we

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1- Sahifat al-Sajjadiyya, supplication No.45 and what is meant is Sura Ghafir verse 60.

see in one place the word of عبادات and in another place the word of دعوتLike:

قُلْ أَتَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا یَمْلِکُ لَکُمْ ضَرًّا وَلَا نَفْعًا

“Say: Do you serve besides Allah that which does not control for you any harm, or any profit? (Maida: 76)”

In another verse it says:

قُلْ أَنَدْعُو مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا یَنْفَعُنَا وَلَا یَضُرُّنَا

“Say: Shall we call on that besides Allah, which does not benefit us nor harm us. (An’am: 71)”

In Sura Fatir, verse 13 it says:

وَالَّذِینَ تَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِهِ مَا یَمْلِکُونَ مِنْ قِطْمِیرٍ

“And those whom you call upon besides Him do not control a straw.”

In this verse, the word of تدعونis used whereas in another verse which contains the same contents the word of تعبدون is used.

إِنَّ الَّذِینَ تَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ لَا یَمْلِکُونَ لَکُمْ رِزْقًا

“Surely they whom you serve besides Allah do not control for you any sustenance. (Ankabut: 17)”

Sometimes, in one verse, both the words have appeared and has been used in the same meaning:

قُلْ إِنِّی نُهِیتُ أَنْ أَعْبُدَ الَّذِینَ تَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ

“Say: I am forbidden to serve those whom you call upon besides Allah. (An’am: 56)”

“Say, I am forbidden from worshipping those which you call them (i.e. worship them)” (1)

Respected readers are requested to refer to al-Mu'jam al-mufahras under the words عبد and دُعاso that they will witness as to how in on verse the word of عبادات has come and in another verse the word of دعوت has come giving the same meaning.

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1- The same is the content of Sura Ghafir, verse 66.

This itself shows that the meaning of دعوت in this verse, is 'ibada and worship and not absolute calling.

If you carefully pay attention to the whole set of verses wherein the word of دعوتhas been used in the sense of عبادات you will realize that these verses either refer to the Great God of the Universe whom all the monotheist believe in His Divinity, Lordship and Mastership or refers to the idols where its worshippers considered them as small gods and masters of intercession. Under these circumstances, reasoning out with these verses for discussing about دعوت (calling) one of the awliya and beseeching one of them who doesn’t have any of these qualities is really astonishing.

Nadhr (Vow) To The People In Grave

People in difficulties and pain customarily make a nadhr (vow) that if their difficulty is solved and if their so and so work is made easy, they will donate a certain sum of money for one of the shrines over the grave and / or will sacrifice a goat for preparing food for the pilgrims. They say:

لله علیَّ کذا إن کان کذا

This matter is prevalent among all the Muslims of the world especially at those centres where the graves of awliya Allah and virtuous personalities are present.

The Wahhabis are sensitive to these types of vows and the most abusive writer amongst them, Abdullah al-Qasimi writes as such:

The Shi'a, because of their belief in the divinity (Godliness) of Ali and his sons, worship them in their graves and it is for this reason that they have built their graves and populated near them. From every nook and corner of the world, they go for their ziyara and present their vows and sacrifices to them and shed tears and blood over their graves. (1)

This shameless and foul-mouthed writer whose basic culture and manners is apparent from the title of his book (2) has reckoned this matter to be related to the Shi'a whereas, the founder of Wahhabism Ibn Taymiyya has discussed the matter in a wider scope and has

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1- Al-Sira, vol. l page 54.
2- He has named this book, so to speak, as a rebuff to Kashf al-'irtiyab written by Allama Sayyid Muhsin Amin and given the title of “battle between Islam and idol-worshipping" and in this way has called the Shi'a, who form one-fourth of Muslim population in the world, as idol-worshippers.

believed it to be related to the common Muslims. As he says:

من نذر شیئاً للنبیّ أو غیره من النبییّن والأولیاء من أهل القبول أو ذبح ذبیحه کان کالمشرکین الذین یذبحون

لأوثانهم و ینذرون لها فهو عابد لغیر الله فیکون بذلک کافراً

“Anyone who has a nadhr (vow) to make and sacrifice for the Holy Prophet (s), other Prophets and other awliya is similar to the polytheists who were doing vows and sacrifices for their idols. Such a person is same as the one worshipping someone other than God and he will be called an infidel (kafir)." (1)

The master and student have both been deceived by apparent (appearances). By the decree of this apparent similarity, they have attacked both with one stick, whereas in the case of common actions, the criterion and basis of judgement is not to be looked in its apparent form but what is important is the intention by heart.

If apparent similarities suffice in a judgement then we have to say that many of the obligatory Hajj actions are similar to the actions of the idol-worshippers who used to circumambulate around the stones and mud and worship their wooden and metallic idols. The same actions are performed by us. We circumambulate around the Ka’ba which is made of stone and mud; we kiss the hajar (stone) and shed blood in Mina.

The basis of judgements and arbitrations in apparently similar affairs are the motives and the intentions and one can never pass a similar judgement only because the

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1- Furqan al-Qur’an, page 132 written by al-'Azami narrated from Ibn Taymiyya.

two actions are apparently the same.

Regarding this matter, the author of Sulh al-'ikhwan has given a statement which can clarify this matter. He says:

إن المسأله تدور مدار نیات الناذرین وإنما الأعمال بالنیات فإن کان قصد الناذر المیت نففسه والتقرب إلیه بذلک لم

یجُز قولاً واحداً وإن کان قصد وجه الله تعالی وانتفاع الأحیاء بوجه من الوجوه وثوابه لذلک المنذور له المیت فیجب

الوفاء بالنذر

This Sunni scholar who is himself a critic of the beliefs of Wahhabis has, in this short statement discussed the matter from the viewpoint of the intentions and motives. He says:

“If the intention of nadhr (vow) is to gain proximity to the dead, then undoubtedly such an act is not permissible (for nadhr should be for Allah and His proximity). If it is for the sake of Allah and His proximity and consequently a section of people benefit from it and its reward is presented to the dead, then there is no objection to it and one should in such a case, fulfil his nadhr (vow).” (1)

The truth is what this scholar has said in these sentences and the motive of nadhr among the Muslims is exactly the same as what has come in the second phase of his statement. It is here that the difference (in essence) between the action of the Muslims and the action of the idol-worshippers becomes obvious. Their intention in presenting gifts and sacrificing animals was to seek proximity to their idols. They even slaughtered animals in their names and their

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1- Sulh al-'ikhwan, page 102 and …

aim was only the idols and seeking their proximity and nothing else. On the other hand, the aim of the Muslims is to seek the satisfaction of Allah and present its reward to the dead. Therefore they bring the word of Allah in their vows and say:

لله علیًّ إن قضیت حاجتی ان افعل کذا

“The purpose of nadhr in reality is seeking proximity to Allah and presenting its reward to the one in grave and the beneficiaries of these nadhr are the poor and the indigent.”

In such a case, how can one consider this action as shirk and place it on par with the action of the polytheists!?

In short, these kinds of nadhr are one type of charity given on behalf of the Prophets and virtuous people the reward of which goes to them and none of the Islamic scholars have objected to such a charity given on behalf of the dead.

For acquainting the respected readers with the fallacious thinking of the Wahhabis, we shall discuss this matter in greater length.

In Arabic language, the matter of charity is presented with لامbut sometimes, this letter is taken in the sense of aim, goal and motive, like; لله علیَّ and sometimes it is meant to describe its usage like إنما الصدقات للفقراءand while carrying out the paradigm of nadhr (vow) they use both kinds of لامand say:

نذرت لله إن قُضیت حاجتی أن أذبح للنبیَّ

The first لامis the same لامof goal and motive and it implies

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that the aim of this nadhr is seeking the satisfaction of Allah and gaining His proximity whereas the second لامindicates the very object which derives benefit from this nadhr and the reward is presented to him.

لامin صلیت لله and or نذرت للهis for expressing goal and motive i.e. I recited salat and I did nadhr because of obeying the commands of Allah and seeking His satisfaction and proximity.

On the other hand لام in اذبح للنبیّ اولوالدیّ او لوالدتیis for clarifying the beneficiary and showing that this action takes place on his behalf and it is he who reaps the benefits of its reward.

Such nadhr not only is not an 'ibada (worship) of that person but rather, it is 'ibada of Allah for the sake of benefit of the creatures of Allah.

In Islamic traditions, there are many instances regarding this matter where we shall hereunder mention a few of them.

(1) One of the companions of the Holy Prophet (s) by the name of Sa’d told the Prophet: “My mother has died and if she was alive today, she would be giving charity. Supposing that I give charity on her behalf, will she derive any benefit from it?” The Holy Prophet (s) replied: “Yes”. Thereafter, he asked the Prophet (s) that amongst all the charities which charity was the most useful and the Prophet (s) replied: “Water”. Sa’d dug a well and said:

هذه لإم سعد

As you must have noticed, the لامof this sentence is

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different from the لام that is present in the sentence نذرت للهthe first لامis for expression of motive and the second لامshows the object deriving the gain. (1)

(2) During the time of the Holy Prophet (s), a person made a nadhr to sacrifice a camel at Bavana. For this reason, he approached the Holy Prophet (s) and informed him of his intentions, the Prophet (s) asked: “During the era of paganism, was there any idol at that place for the people to worship?” He replied “No.” The Prophet (s) asked: “Was any congregation held in any of the ignorant festivals in that place?” He replied “No.” At that moment, the Prophet (s) said:

اوفِ بنذرک فإنه لا وفاء لنذرٍ فی معصیه الله ولا فیما لا یملک ابن أدم

“Fulfill your vow (nadhr) as nadhr is not correct in two instances:

(a) In case of sins and disobedience of Allah and,

(b) In things which he is not the owner.” (2)

(3) A woman told the Holy Prophet (s) as such: I have made a nadhr to slaughter an animal at one particular place. The Holy Prophet (s) asked: “Have you made a nadhr for an idol? She replied “No.”: The Holy Prophet (s) said: Fulfil your nadhr. (3)

(4) The father of Maymuna said: I have done nadhr to slaughter 50 sheep at Bavana. The Holy Prophet (s) said:

“Is there any idol in that place?” He replied “No.” The Prophet (s) said: “You may fulfil your nadhr.”

The successive questionings by

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1- Furqan al-Qur’an, page 133 narrated from al-Ghadir, vol. 5 page 181.
2- Sunan Abi Dawud, vol. 2 page 80.
3- Sunan Abi Dawud, vol. 2 page 81

the Prophet (s) about the existence of idols in the past and present and or about the presence of any congregations in the form of festivals at those places was due to the fact that under such situations, the sacrifice took place for those idols and for gaining their proximity whereas sacrifices should be only for Allah and not for the idols. In fact, one of the forbidden acts from the viewpoint of Qur’an is to slaughter in the name of an idol. As the Holy Qur’an says:

وما ذُبِح علی النُصب

“And what is sacrificed on stones set up (for idols). (Maida 5:3)”

The reason that the questioners were fixing the place of slaughter was because of the presence of poor and needy people and or the easiness in performing the deed in those places.

Those who are having connection with the pilgrims to the holy graves are fully aware that nadhr is made for the sake of Allah and His satisfaction and sacrifice is done in His name. However, as far as the benefits are concerned its rewards go to the awliya Allah and its material gains to the poor and / or to the holy shrine itself.

‘Calling’ The Divine Personalities

Political and Social Dimensions of Hajj


Like Marxism, the school of Wahhabism too, when coming across the events and phenomenon which go against the aim of their school of thought, tend to draw a new line and issue some new commandments for the Muslims in the course of time.

The victory of Islamic revolution in Iran brought up an extraordinary fear in hearts of the political leaders of Wahhabi ideology. They became very anxious from its influence over the neighbouring regions and very the thought of awakening of their nations brought them pain and agony.

In the Hajj season, when our dear and noble country of Iran would, as a revolutionary duty, engage in demonstrations and invite the Islamic nations towards unity and cooperation against the blood-thirsty Americans and international Communism(1) and Zionism the politicians of Sa’udi

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1- Russia was united at the time when this book was written

Arabia stretched their hands towards the clergy for conjuring up a solution about this matter so that they could finally prohibit such demonstrations.

'Abd al-'Aziz bin Baz, the Mufti of Sa’udi Arabia, prohibited demonstrations under the pretext that Hajj is a devotional deed and should not be mingled with the other matters. As a result, the police attacked the pilgrims and the honourable guests to the House of Allah with whips and arms. They entertained the pilgrims to the House of Allah with curses, blows and bullets and instigated other people against them and this incident continues every year.

This part of the book has been written in reply to the fatwa (verdict) of the Mufti of Sa’udi Arabia and the political and social dimensions of this duty have been explained from the viewpoint of verses, traditions and the common practise of the muslims.

The aim of performing Hajj duties is to call for humility before God and this matter is clear and apparent by paying attention to the Hajj rituals.

'Ibada and worship of the Lord and non-worship of other than Him is evident right from the beginning of the deeds till the last of them and it is needless to mention them, especially if these actions are accompanied with recommended prayers. We derive the following conclusions from all such deeds:

Hajj is 'ibada and worship of the true Lord in the best possible circumstances.

Hajj is expressing humility with honour before God in the best form.

Hajj is

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beseeching and weeping before God in its deepest form.

Hajj is such an 'ibada where all kinds of elements of expression of devotion and bondage have been collected and one can clearly witness humility, submission, piety, deliverance from desires and attachments of this world.

The pilgrims to the House of Allah exhibit their deliverance from material manifestations by wearing two pieces of cloths and in this way, show that except for Allah, they have no interest in anything even to their sons, family and relatives. The only thing which preoccupies the minds of the pilgrims to the House of Allah is the saying of labbayk in one harmonious voice.

This matter is completely evident and clear by paying attention to the obligatory acts of Hajj, the places where these acts are to be performed and the stops where the pilgrims have to make a halt. Therefore, one should consider Hajj to be the greatest devotional act and the greatest religious obligation.

However, apart from this matter, there is another matter to be looked into and that is whether this act, apart from 'ibada, has any political and social dimensions or not? Or is it that, like the midnight prayers, it ends only and only in Ibadat and worship without having any relation with the common Islamic problems!

In other words, has God made Hajj obligatory upon all the Muslims whether men or women and young or old so that with such deeds they worship their Lord and except for this

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worship it does not hold any political and social dimensions.

Or is it that this obligation is the point of combination for Ibadat and politics and is the centre of relating worship of God with the other social and economic matters. It is this matter which we are going to discuss and we shall see that what the Qur’anic verses, the Islamic traditions (hadiths) and the practise of virtuous companions approve is the second point.

Observing the Benefits of Hajj

The Holy Qur’an describes the Hajj of Ibrahim ('a) as follows:

وَأَذِّنْ فِی النَّاسِ بِالْحَجِّ یَأْتُوکَ رِجَالًا وَعَلَیٰ کُلِّ ضَامِرٍ یَأْتِینَ مِنْ کُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِیقٍ {27}

لِیَشْهَدُوا مَنَافِعَ لَهُمْ وَیَذْکُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ فِی أَیَّامٍ مَعْلُومَاتٍ عَلَیٰ مَا رَزَقَهُمْ مِنْ بَهِیمَهِ الْأَنْعَامِ ۖ فَکُلُوا مِنْهَا وَأَطْعِمُوا الْبَائِسَ

الْفَقِیرَ {28}

ثُمَّ لْیَقْضُوا تَفَثَهُمْ وَلْیُوفُوا نُذُورَهُمْ وَلْیَطَّوَّفُوا بِالْبَیْتِ الْعَتِیقِ {29}

ذَٰلِکَ وَمَنْ یُعَظِّمْ حُرُمَاتِ اللَّهِ فَهُوَ خَیْرٌ لَهُ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِ ۗ وَأُحِلَّتْ لَکُمُ الْأَنْعَامُ إِلَّا مَا یُتْلَیٰ عَلَیْکُمْ ۖ فَاجْتَنِبُوا الرِّجْسَ مِنَ الْأَوْثَانِ

وَاجْتَنِبُوا قَوْلَ الزُّورِ {30}

حُنَفَاءَ لِلَّهِ غَیْرَ مُشْرِکِینَ بِهِ ۚ وَمَنْ یُشْرِکْ بِاللَّهِ فَکَأَنَّمَا خَرَّ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ فَتَخْطَفُهُ الطَّیْرُ أَوْ تَهْوِی بِهِ الرِّیحُ فِی مَکَانٍ

سَحِیقٍ {31}

ذَٰلِکَ وَمَنْ یُعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِنْ تَقْوَی الْقُلُوبِ {32}

لَکُمْ فِیهَا مَنَافِعُ إِلَیٰ أَجَلٍ مُسَمًّی ثُمَّ مَحِلُّهَا إِلَی الْبَیْتِ الْعَتِیقِ

“And proclaim among men the pilgrimage: they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, coming from every remote path, that they may witness benefits for them and mention the name of Allah during stated days over what He has given them of the cattle quadrupeds, then eat of them

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and feed the distressed one, the needy. Then let them accomplish their needful acts of shaving and cleansing, and let them fulfil their vows and let them go round the Ancient House.

That (shall be so); and whoever respects the sacred ordinances of Allah, it is better for him with his Lord; and the cattle are made lawful for you, therefore avoid the uncleanness of the idols and avoid false words, Being upright for Allah, not associating aught with Him and whoever associates (others ) with Allah, it is as though he had fallen from on high, then the birds snatch him away or the wind carries him off to a far-distant place. That (shall be so); and whoever respects the signs of Allah, this surely is (the outcome) of the pity of hearts. You have benefits in them till a fixed time, then their place of sacrifice is the Ancient House. (Hajj: 27-33)”

From among all these verses consider the second verse and ponder deeply over this sentence, لیشهدوا منافع للناس so that it becomes clear that:

Firstly, what is meant by these benefits where the pilgrims to the House of Allah should be a witness. The fact that this sentence has come before the sentence ویذکروا اسم الله somewhat shows that Hajj possesses two dimensions, a devotional dimension which is embodied in praise and remembrance of Allah and the social dimension which ends in the witness of the benefits and;

Secondly: in this verse, منافع (benefits) which is an indicator

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to social and political dimension is prior to ذکر الله (remembrance of Allah).

Thirdly, the Holy Qur’an has brought the word of منافعin absolute terms and without any restrictions so that it includes every kind of benefits; economical, political and social and we have no right to adopt this word and restrict its meaning to a particular benefit. We should include in it, the economic benefits or social and political benefits. This word, by decree of the next sentence ویذکروا اسم الله shows that apart from devotion, Hajj possesses another domain which one should benefit from and we should not consider it to be a dry 'ibada having no relation with the lives of the muslims.

It is advisable at this stage to know in what manner, the former head of al-Azhar, Shaikh Mahmud Shaltut has interpreted this sentence.

He says: The منافع (benefits), where Hajj is the perceptional and acquirable channel for that and which has been set forth as the foremost philosophy of Hajj, is having a wide and comprehensive meaning which cannot be concluded in any special forms. Rather, this sentence, with all the universality and commonness it possesses, contains all personal and social benefits. If purification of the soul and seeking proximity of Allah are benefits, then seeking advice too is benefit. If these two are reckoned to be benefits then, inviting the Muslims for centralizing their forces for the spread of Islam too is a benefit. Therefore, according to the necessities of time and the

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conditions of the Muslims, these benefits differ in every era. (1)

In another place too, the former Shaykh of Al-Azhar says:

‘By paying attention to the special position which Hajj enjoys in Islam and the aims which have been set forth in it for one individual and one society, it is worthy that people of knowledge, wisdom and culture, (the responsible persons in charge of administrative and political affairs, the experts in financial and economical affairs, the teachers in laws and religion and the people in the battle-front) give special importance to it (and a group derives its benefits from Hajj).

It is worthy that people from all walks of life make haste towards this divine House. It is worthy that people of knowledge, insight, ijtihad and faith and the ones possessing lofty aims gather over there so that it is seen as to how Mecca spreads its wings of mercy over them and how it collects their slogan of tawhid in and around the House and (so that) they finally engage in seeking recognition, advice and help from each other and then they leave for their respective countries as one nation and with a single heart and united goals and outlook. (2)

The point which is worthy of attention is this that just after the aforesaid verses (which all manifested the position and benefits of Hajj) the Holy Qur’an concludes the discussion with verses about jihad and safeguarding of Islamic frontiers. As the Holy Qur’an says:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ یُدَافِعُ عَنِ الَّذِینَ

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1- Al-Shari'a wa al-'aqida, page 151.
2- Al-Shari'a wa al-'aqida, page 150.

آمَنُوا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا یُحِبُّ کُلَّ خَوَّانٍ کَفُورٍ {38}

أُذِنَ لِلَّذِینَ یُقَاتَلُونَ بِأَنَّهُمْ ظُلِمُوا ۚ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَیٰ نَصْرِهِمْ لَقَدِیرٌ {39}

الَّذِینَ أُخْرِجُوا مِنْ دِیَارِهِمْ بِغَیْرِ حَقٍّ إِلَّا أَنْ یَقُولُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ۗ وَلَوْلَا دَفْعُ اللَّهِ النَّاسَ بَعْضَهُمْ بِبَعْضٍ لَهُدِّمَتْ صَوَامِعُ وَبِیَعٌ

وَصَلَوَاتٌ وَمَسَاجِدُ یُذْکَرُ فِیهَا اسْمُ اللَّهِ کَثِیرًا ۗ وَلَیَنْصُرَنَّ اللَّهُ مَنْ یَنْصُرُهُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَقَوِیٌّ عَزِیزٌ {40}

الَّذِینَ إِنْ مَکَّنَّاهُمْ فِی الْأَرْضِ أَقَامُوا الصَّلَاهَ وَآتَوُا الزَّکَاهَ وَأَمَرُوا بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَنَهَوْا عَنِ الْمُنْکَرِ ۗ وَلِلَّهِ عَاقِبَهُ الْأُمُورِ

“Surely Allah will defend those who believe; surely Allah does not love anyone who is unfaithful, ungrateful. Permission (to fight) is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed, and most surely Allah is well able to assist them, those who have been expelled from their homes without adjust cause except that they say: Our Lord is Allah. And had there not been Allah's repelling some people by others, certainly there would have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques in which Allah's name is much remembered; and surely Allah will help him who helps His cause; most surely Allah is Strong, Mighty. Those who, should We establish them in the land, will keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and enjoin good and forbid evil; and Allah's is the end of affairs. (Hajj: 41-48)”

Is it that the presentation of verses of jihad and defence just after the verses of Hajj or so to say, the coming together of verses of Hajj and Jihad is accidental and

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without any reason. Never! Qur’an never brings together in one place the nonproportional verses and then fails to observe their relation.

In accordance with the unity and necessity of relation between these two sets of verses, we realize that there exists a special relation between Hajj and jihad; between the field of intellect and the field of defence and for such a relationship, the place of Hajj is the best place where the Muslims can prepare themselves mentally and spiritually so much so that they can rub the nose of the proud to the ground and pull down the knees of colonization.

Yes, this great divine Congress where the representatives of every nation gather is the best opportunity for the intellectuals amongst them to come together and discuss their political and defensive matters and form a united row before the enemies and teach them an unforgettable lesson. Even though this duty is not confined to the time and place of Hajj and rather the Muslims should face the enemies under any given situation and time, yet the time of Hajj and the gathering of Muslims at that place is the best opportunity for fulfilling this divine obligation.

It is not only Shaykh Shaltut who has interpreted منافع (benefits) which has come down in the verses in the general sense but the old exegetist of Ahl al-Sunnah al-Tabari, after commenting a few words on this matter, specifies that the most worthy utterance in the interpretation of this verse is to say:

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God has meant a general concept from this sentence. That is to say, the Muslims should perceive every kind of benefits which is possible at any time or to derive every kind of worldly and heavenly benefits and no tradition or rational decree has assigned any special meaning for this sentence (which is having a comprehensive meaning) (1)

Ka’ba is the Existence of Life

The Holy Qur’an describes Ka'ba and Bayt al-haram by the following sentence:

جَعَلَ اللَّهُ الْکَعْبَهَ الْبَیْتَ الْحَرَامَ قِیَامًا لِلنَّاسِ وَالشَّهْرَ الْحَرَامَ وَالْهَدْیَ وَالْقَلَائِدَ ۚ ذَٰلِکَ لِتَعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ یَعْلَمُ مَا فِی السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِی الْأَرْضِ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ بِکُلِّ شَیْءٍ عَلِیمٌ

“Allah has made the Ka’ba, the sacred house, maintenance for the people, and the sacred month and the offerings and the sacrificial animals with garlands, this is that you may know that Allah knows whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth, and that Allah is the Knower of all things. (Maida: 97)”

The word of قیام which has come down in this verse, can be seen in another verse too. As:

وَلَا تُؤْتُوا السُّفَهَاءَ أَمْوَالَکُمُ الَّتِی جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لَکُمْ قِیَامًا

“And do not give away your property which Allah has made for you a (means of) support. (Nisa: 5)”

Here, gives the meaning of existence and in fact is synonymous with pillar and the meaning of the verse is this that the Hajj ceremonies and the ziyara of Ka'ba and one's presence near the House of Allah is the mainstay for the existence of worldly and heavenly life of the Islamic

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1- Tafsir al-Tabari, vol.17 page 108 (Beirut print).


Gathering during Hajj season, not only ensures the spiritual life of the Muslims but is the source of making secure every kind of element that has a great influence in one's individual and social life. Pondering over the meaning of this verse, guides us to a more comprehensive meaning i.e. whatever is related to the interests of the Muslims and are reckoned to be their life and existence is ensured in this Hajj season. With such general application and extensive saying, is it possible to conclude and limit this matter to only and only the interests related to 'ibada and worship?

What better expediency is better than one political platform that organizes and unites the Muslims against the colonists and the exploiters and makes them steadfast and encourages them to stand united in the battle against them. The Holy Qur’an does not allow the parents or guardians of the insane to give their wealth which is the source of their living and existence to them. It emphatically says:

ولا تُؤتُوا السفهاء أموالکم التی جعل الله لکم قیاماً

“And do not give away your property which Allah has made for you a (means of) support. (Nisa: 5)”

Considering the contents of this verse, is it proper that the Hajj formalities should fall in the hands of those who are unaware of it and are fully heedless of the role it plays in the lives of the Muslims!

To acquaint the respected readers with the views of the commentators who focused on

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the same axis, we present here some of their views regarding the sentence of قیاماً للناس

Al-Tabari says: “God has bestowed Ka'ba and Bayt al-Haram as a life for the people!

Moreover, he later says:

وجعلها معالم لدینهم ومصالح أمورهم

“He has made Ka'ba the place of signs of people's beliefs and the base for their interests and affairs.” (1)

The author of Al-Manar in interpreting the afore-mentioned verse, says:

“God has made the Ka'ba a pillar for the people's religious affairs in such manner that it refines their morals and trains them. These are achieved through the Hajj obligations which is the greatest foundation of our religion and it is an 'ibada which is spiritual (but) containing the economic and social dimensions. "

Then, he continues and says: "This جعل in the verse حعل الله refers to both تکوینی (creation) and تشریعی (laws) which guarantees every kind of worldly and heavenly interests of the people." (2)

Expression of Aversion On The Occasion Of Hajj

Even if you doubt in the generality of the sentence لیشهدوا منافع لهم and orقیاماً للناس yet you cannot doubt in the action of the Holy Prophet’s (s) representative in the Hajj season which was totally a political affair.

Because, in the year 9th Hijri, the Holy Prophet (s) gave charge to Ali (‘a) to read out a letter which contained expression of disgust towards the polytheists. This was at the time when 16 verses from the beginning of Sura Bara'a (Tauba) were revealed to the Prophet (s) which comprises of the following:

بَرَاءَهٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ إِلَی الَّذِینَ

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1- Tafsir al-Tabari, vol. 7 page 49.
2- Al-Manar, vol.7 page 11

عَاهَدْتُمْ مِنَ الْمُشْرِکِینَ {1}

فَسِیحُوا فِی الْأَرْضِ أَرْبَعَهَ أَشْهُرٍ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّکُمْ غَیْرُ مُعْجِزِی اللَّهِ ۙ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ مُخْزِی الْکَافِرِینَ {2}

وَأَذَانٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ إِلَی النَّاسِ یَوْمَ الْحَجِّ الْأَکْبَرِ أَنَّ اللَّهَ بَرِیءٌ مِنَ الْمُشْرِکِینَ ۙ وَرَسُولُهُ ۚ فَإِنْ تُبْتُمْ فَهُوَ خَیْرٌ لَکُمْ ۖ

وَإِنْ تَوَلَّیْتُمْ فَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّکُمْ غَیْرُ مُعْجِزِی اللَّهِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الَّذِینَ کَفَرُوا بِعَذَابٍ أَلِیمٍ

"(This is a declaration of) immunity by Allah and His Apostle to wards those of the idolaters with whom you made an agreement. So go about in the land for four months and know that you cannot weaken Allah and that Allah will bring disgrace to the unbelievers. And an announcement from Allah and His Apostle to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that Allah and His Apostle are free from liability to the idolaters, therefore if you repent, it will be better for you, and if you turn back, then know that you will not weaken Allah; and announce painful punishment to those who disbelieve. (Tauba: 1-3)”

After reciting these verses, Amir al-mu'minin (‘a) issued a four-point resolution as such:

Behold O polytheists!

(a) The idol-worshippers have no right to enter the House of Allah.

(b) Circumambulation in the state of uncovered body is prohibited.

(c) Henceforth, no idol-worshipper will take part in the Hajj ceremony.

(d) Those that have signed a non-aggression treaty with the Holy Prophet (s) and have been loyal in their treaty will be faithfully respected. However, for those polytheists who are not having any pact with the Muslims or have intentionally

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dishonoured their pact, they will be given from this date (10th Dhu'l hijja) four months to clarify their stance before the Islamic Government or will have to join the monotheists and break-off from polytheism and dualism or prepare themselves for war. (1)

What deed can be more political than this action where, in the midst of Hajj duties when the Muslims and polytheists were engaged in circumambulation, Ali (‘a) climbs a high place and starts nullifying some of the points of treaty and gives a four month deadline to either discard polytheism and join the ranks of the monotheists or face the consequences of a war.

Political Elegy of Farazdaq in Masjid al-Haram

Once, during Hajj time, when Hisham son of 'Abdul Malik was circumambulating the Ka’aba amidst a huge crowd, he tried many times to kiss al-hajar al-'aswad. However, due to the enormous crowd, Hisham did not get a chance and helplessly sat at one corner and glared at the people. Suddenly he saw a thin, good-looking, divinely-bright personality gradually advancing towards al-hajar al-'aswad. The people respected him and involuntarily moved back so that he could easily reach al-hajar al-'aswad. The people of Syria who were around Ibn 'Abdul Malik asked him: Who is this man? Hisham, even though he knew that personality very well refrained from introducing Imam and instead lied and said: I don’t know him.

At this moment, a poet by the name of Farazdaq who enjoyed special freedom and liberty un-hesitantly recited some poems and in this way, introduced Imam al-Sajjad ('a) very

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1- Tafsir al-Tabari, vol.10 page 47; Sira Ibn Hisham, vol. 4 page 545.

nicely. Some of the verses of his poem are as follows:

هذا الذی تعرف البطحاء وطأته والبیت یعرفه والحِل والحرم

هذا ابن خیر عباد الله کلهم هذا التقی النقیّ الطاهر العلم

هذا ابن فاطمه إن کنت جاهله بجده انبیاء الله قد خُتم

تکاد یُمسکه عِرفان راحته رُکن الحطیمم إذا ما جاء یستلم

“He is someone who, the soil of Batha' is aware of his footprints and Ka'ba, the House and its exterior are well-acquainted with him; He is the son of the best servants of Allah; He is pious, pure, holy and well-known. If you are unaware of him, he is the son of Fatima, (daughter of the Holy Prophet (s). Soon, when he will touch al-Hajar-ul-Aswad, it will not release his well-recognized hand.” (1)

The poem of al-Farazdaq had such far-reaching effect that Hisham became wild and angry and immediately ordered for his arrest. When Imam ('a) became aware of this matter, he consoled al-Farazdaq very much.

Political and Social Dimensions of Hajj in Islamic Traditions

So far, it has somewhat become clear from the verses and ways of the Holy Prophet (s) that Hajj, while being one devotional deed, is evidently having a political aspect too where sometimes the Holy Prophet (s) himself considered them as identical. The Holy Prophet (s) has also referred to this aspect in traditions which we shall now mention a few of them:

In the book of Al-Taj al-jami' li al-'usul fi ahadith al-Rasul, vol. 2 pages 98-99, one can find the Holy Prophet (s) narrating as such:

(I) The best jihad is the Hajj which has been

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1- Al-Aghani 5 vol. 21 page 376-377; Manaqib Ibn Shahr Ashub, vol. 4 page 169. The afore-said elegy of al-Farazdaq has come in most of the historical and literary books. To doubt in the authenticity of this poem is one kind of opposition with the reliable traditions.

accepted. (1)

(II) Hajj and 'Umra is a universal jihad and in that, men, women, the weak and the powerful participate. (2)

(III) Is there a jihad for women? Yes! there is jihad for women wherein there is no battle but taking part in the Hajj ceremony. (3)

(IV) The chosen ones before Allah are these: Those participating in jihad and the pilgrims to the House of God for Hajj and for Umra. (4)

In this tradition, Hajj has been introduced as universal jihad and as jihad for women and in the last part of the tradition, those participating in jihad and those participating in Hajj are introduced as the chosen ones whom Allah has invited.

If in this tradition, Hajj has been called as jihad, (then) there should exist a kind of sign and similarity between these two that one can apply the word of jihad to another. One of the reasons why Hajj is called a jihad is because Hajj is similar to jihad in its objectives and effects. This divine obligation, apart from being 'ibada, is also an occasion for special endeavour in pre-determined matters. The strategies for practical jihad and the means and method of cooperation between the Muslims are set forth on this very occasion.

Political Speech of the Holy Prophet (s) at the Time of Hajj

A great and splendid gathering had taken place in Masjid al-Haram around the House of God. The Muslims and polytheists, the friends and foes had all come together and an aura of greatness had surrounded the environment of the mosque due to the magnificence

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1- افضل الجهاد حج مبرور
2- جهاد الکبیر والصغیر والضعیف والمرأه الحج والعمره
3- نعم علیهم جهاد لا قتال فیه الحد والعمره
4- وقَّد الله ثلاثه الغاری والحاج والمُعتمر

of Islam and the greatness of Holy Prophet (s)

At such a moment, the Holy Prophet (s) began to speak by describing for the people the actual visage of his invitation which had taken twenty years from the date of its commencement. We bring here some of those historical sayings:

(a) O people, under the light of Islam, God took away from you the (so called) glories and the impunable acts attributed to your genealogy which was prevalent during the period of ignorance (jahiliyyah). All have come into existence from Adam and he too has been created from soil. The best of the people is he who refrains from sins and disobedience. (1)

(b) O people, being an Arab is not a part of your nature. Rather, it is only a lip-service. Anyone who is negligent in his duties then the glories of his fathers and forefathers will be of no avail and will not make any amends for his shortcomings. (2)

(c) All the people of the past and present are similar and equal like the teeth of a comb and no Arab is having preference over non-Arab nor the white over the black. The standard for excellency is piety and fear of God. (3)

(d) I abrogate all the claims related to life and property and all the delusive glories of the pars period and declare all of them as baseless. (4)

(e) A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim and all the Muslims are brothers to each other and before

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1- ایها الناس إن الله قد أذهب عنکم نحوه الجاهلیه وتفاخرها بابائها ألا أنکم من أدم وأدم من طین إلا أن خیر عبد اتقاه
2- ألا أن العربیه لیست "اب" والد ولکنها لسان ناطق فمن قصر عمله لم یبلغ به حسبه.
3- إن الناس من لدن ادم إلی یومنا هذا مثل اسنان المشظ لا فضل للعربی علی العجمی ولا للأحمر علی الأسود إلا بالتقوی
4- ألا إن کان مالٍ کان مال وماثره ودمٍ فی الجاهلیه تحت قدمی هاتین

the strangers they have one common order. Their blood is the same as each other and the lowest amongst them can make a commitment on behalf of the Muslims. (1)

(f) After accepting this religion, do not take an about turn where in such instances has resulted in the deviation of some and caused them to become the owners of each others. (2)

(g) Your blood and your property are forbidden for you and are honourable like the honour of this day, this month and this city. (3)

(h) All the blood which has been shed in the period of ignorance is declared to be in vain and the first blood which I keep under my foot is the blood of Rabie son of Harith. (4)

(i) Every Muslim is the brother of another Muslim and all the Muslims are brothers (to each other). Nothing from his property is permissible for another except if he gives him as a good -will. (5)

(j) There are three things which the heart of a believer is never disloyal to:

(i) Sincerity in action for the sake of God.

(ii) Wishing goodness for the true leaders.

(iii) Attending the gathering of the believers. (6)

Political Poems at the Time of Victory of Mecca


At the time of victory of Mecca, the Muslims, before the very perplexed eyes of the polytheists were ordered, apart from performing their Hajj obligation, to call out and say the following du'a which is full of monotheism and epic.

لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شریک له وله المُلک وله الحمد یُحیی ویُمیت وهو علی کل شئ

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1- المسلم أخ المسم والمسلمون اخوه وهم ید واحده علی من سواهم تتکافور مائهم یسعی بذمتهم ادناهم
2- لا ترجعوا بعدی کفار مضلین یملک بعضکم رقاب بعض
3- إن دمائکم وأموالکم علیکم حرام کحُرمه یومکم هذا فی شهرکم ه1ا فی بلدکم هذا.
4- ودماء الجاهلیه موضوع وأول دمٍ أضعه دم ربیعه بن حارث.
6- کل مسلم أخ المسلم وإن المسلمین اخوه فلا یحل لا مرئ من أخیه إلا ما أعطا عن طیب نفسه منه. إن Our references for these are: Rawdat al-kafi, page 246; Sira Ibn Hisham, vol. 2 page 412; al- Manar, al-Waqidi vol. 2 page 826 and others.

قدیر. لا إله إلا الله وحده أنجز

وعده ونصر عبده وهزم الأحزاب وحده.

"There is no god except Allah; there is no partner for Him and the Kingdom belongs to Him. (All) Praise is for Him; He gives life and causes death and He is Powerful over all things. There is no god except Allah; He is alone. He has fulfilled His promise and helped His servant and alone He has destroyed the collective powers." (1)

Signals and Implications

The Holy Prophet (s) has not restrained himself with such type of expressions in determining the political dimension of Hajj. Sometimes, through signs and indication, he showed that the most trivial actions of Hajj are not far from political dimensions.

In so much as in the endeavour between Safa and Marwa at one particular place, he increased his speed in walking so that in this way he wanted to reject the gossip of the polytheists who spread rumours that due to the inclemency of the weather of Medina, the Muhajirs (immigrants) and helpers of Prophet (s) had become weak. Therefore in "Umra-Qadha" he ordered the people to walk faster in the endeavour (between Safa and Marwa) and while circumambulating in order to show their strength to the polytheists. (2)

In the prayers of tawaf the Holy Prophet (s) recited Sura al-Tawhid in the first unit and Sura al-Kafirun in the second unit. All are aware what dimensions, the contents of these two Suras have and how they refute and forbid every kind of nonmonotheistic thoughts or unity with

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1- Refer to the books of Hajj of Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim and others.
2- Jami' al-'usul, vol. 4 Book of Hajj.

any side from the camps of disbelief (kufr).

It is seen in history that at the time of touching or kissing al-hajar al-'aswad, the Muslims used to recite the following:

بسم الله والله أکبر علی ما هدانا لا إله إلا الله لا شریک له أمنت بالله وکفرت بالطاغوت

“In the name of God, and God is great for He guides us, there is no God save Allah, there is no partner to Him, I believe in God and I deny Taghut (Tyrant)” (1)

Political Dimensions of Hajj in the Words of Inerrant Leaders

(a) Imam al-Sadiq (‘a): About the philosophy of Hajj and the secrets of its legislations Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) say as such:

وجعل فیه الإجتماع من المشرق والمغرب والمغرب لیتعارفوا ولتُعرف اثار رسول الله وتُعرف اخباره ولا تُنسی ولو

کان کُل قوم إنما یتکلون علی بلادهم وما فیها هلکُوا وخربت البلاد وسقط الجَلب والأرباح وعمیت الأخبار ولم

یقفوا علی ذلک وذلک عله الحج.

"In the land of Mecca, there manifested a gathering from East and West so that the people recognize each other and the effects of the Holy Prophet's works (traditions) are recognized and not forgotten. If every group depended upon what was taking place in their own lands, they would be destroyed, the cities would head towards ruin, the trade and economic affairs would collapse and the news and information would not reach the people. This is the philosophy of Hajj.” (2)

This sentence shows that Hajj possesses scientific, economic and political aspects. In fact, Hajj is a connecting chain between the Muslims of the world who in this way engage in

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1- Abu Walid al-'Azarqi, Ta'rikh Makka, vol.1 page 339.
2- Bihar al-'anwar, vol. 99 page 33, narrated from 'Ilal al-shara'i', by al-Saduq.

exchange of news and current situation of the world and acquire knowledge of the traces and Sunnah (practices) of the Prophet (s) which has been disseminated through the companions, disciples of the companions and the scholars of Hadith from the East and West. Meanwhile, every group present their goods over there and the method of trade and commerce is acquired and recognized.

(b) Again Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) says:

ما مِن بُقعه أحب إلی الله مِن المسعی لأنه یُذل فیه کل جبار

“No spot of the world is more lovable to Allah than the place of endeavour between Safaa and Marwa because in this place all the stubborn people become abject and miserable and exhibit their servitude and bondage.” (1)

(c) History, very clearly reports that the companions and the disciples of the companions derived benefits from this occasion to the advantage of Islam and the Muslims. The seed of most of the uprisings and movement for freedom originated from here and on such an occasion the nations would be invited to fight and combat the unjust rulers. Suffice it is in this case to listen to the words of al-Husayn ibn Ali ('a) on the day of Mina. At Hajj time, he called together the names of the sons of Ibn Hisham, the great personalities, their women and even the Ansars who had interest in him such that more than one thousand people attended his speech. At this moment, when the companions and their sons were listening to his speech, he

p: 305

1- Bihar al-'anwar, vol.19 page 49.

began his speech as such

أما بعد فإن هذا الطاغیه قد صنع بنا ما قد علمتم ورأیتهم وشهدتم وبلغنکم وإنی أرید أن أسئلکم عن أشیاء فإن صد

فصدقونی وإن کذبت فکذبونی اسمعُوا مقالتی واکتُموا قولی ثم إرجعوا إلی امصارکم وقبائلکم من امَّنتُموه ووثقتم

به فادعُوهم إلی ما تعلمون فإنی اخاف أن یندرس هذا الحق ویذهب والله مُتِم نُوره ولو کره الکافرون

"After praising Allah and sending salutations upon the Holy Prophet (s), he said: O people, Know that what evils this tyrant (Mu'awiya) has committed against us to which you are all knowing and are aware about. I ask you of some affairs which if you find truth in them, then approve my saying and if I speak false, then reject my sayings. Now, listen to my talks and keep them hidden in your hearts and thereafter return back to your towns and among your tribes. You invite every person whom you trust and have confidence towards what you have knowledge (religious duty). I fear that the true religion gets eroded and nullified even though God is the terminator of His light and the unbelievers dislike it.” (1)

Thereafter, al-Husayn ibn Ali ('a) recited some verses which has been revealed in favour of the Household of the Prophet and promised the people that when they returned back to their home-towns, they should relate his speech to the people whom they trust. Then he descended from his pulpit and the people dispersed.

It was not only al-Husayn ibn Ali ('a) who had taken advantage of this

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1- Kitab Sulaym b. Qays al-Kufi, page 18.

great gathering. Even the Christians and Jews who were living under the protection of Islamic Government would, at times when their rights were violated, plead for justice on such an occasion and demand back their right from the Islamic ruler. This is a witness to the presence of such a Sunnah (practice) amongst the Muslims. History has recorded it:

One of the coptics of Egypt, during the time of governership of 'Amr bin al-'As, entered into a competition with the son of the ruler and won the competition. The victory of one coptic over the son of ruler who was dear to 'Amr bin al-'As and his son finally lead to his beating through the son of 'Amr bin al-'As.

The coptic related the matter to the ruler of the time (‘Umar bin al-Khattab) during Hajj time and explained his innocence. ‘Umar called for the 'Amr bin al-'As and accounted a famous sentence in this regard:

متی استعبدتم الناس وقد ولدنهم أمهاتهم أحرارً

“Since when you have taken the people as your slaves whereas they have been born free from their mothers!?” (1)

Thereafter he took revenge for the beaten one from the one who had beaten him.

History has narrated such incidents on so many occasions that it itself is a witness to the fact that Hajj is not only for worship and 'ibada and void of other dimensions. When Hajj is the centre of setting forth complaints, then why it cannot be the centre of setting forth complaints about the

p: 307

1- Farid Wajdi, book of Hajj vol.3 page 350 (Da'irat al-ma'arif).

tyrant rulers of the East and West.

Sayings of Contemporary Thinkers about The Philosophy of Hajj

Now it is proper to narrate few sayings of the Islamic researchers about Hajj responsibilities. We shall narrate three sayings from three contemporary writers and one of them is the member of advisory board of Abdul Aziz University in Sa’udi Arabia. Here is some portions of their sayings:

(a) Farid Vajdi in the Islamic Da'irat al-Ma'arif writes about the matter of Hajj as such:

“The philosophy of divine legislation of Hajj is not something which can be explained in this book. What passes in one's mind is this that if all the Islamic Governments take advantage from this occasion in establishing Islamic unity amongst the Muslim nations, they will achieve a perfect result because a gathering of tens of thousands of people from different places in one common place and the attentiveness of their hearts to those things which are inspired to them in this place creates a special kind of impression in them and all return back to their respective countries with one heart and there, they propagate to their brothers whatever they have heard and learnt.

The example of this group is like the example of members of one big congress which gather from all corners of the world and after the termination of the congress disperse to different parts of the world carrying a message. Whatever may be the result of this magnificent Congress, gatherings on such occasions and later, the dispersion to the home-towns bears the same result.


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Doctor al-Qardawi, the contemporary writer, writes in the book al-'Ibadah fi al-Islam as such:

The greatest result which can be achieved from this gathering is that Hajj is the most important factor for awakening the Islamic ummah from its long sleep. For this reason, some of the puppet governments and invaders of Islamic states become an obstacle for the Muslims from visiting the House of Allah since they know that if the slightest movement is set up amongst the Muslims, then no factor can stop them from such a movement.

He writes in the book: al-Din wa al-hajj 'ala al-madhahib al-'arba'a, on page 51 as such:

“Hajj is a means of acquaintance among the Muslims and the source of forming affection and relation among the various kinds of people who live under the banner of monotheism. This is because at such times their hearts become one and their voice becomes united. Then, they embark on rectifying their own condition and setting right the defects of their own society.”

Doctor Muhammad Mubarak, advisor of al-Malik 'Abdul Aziz’ University writes as such:

"Hajj is a world congress where all the Muslims gather in one line for worshipping God. But this worship is not un-mixed and separate from their lives. Rather, it possesses a special relation with their lives."

In this regard, the Holy Qur’an says:

لِیَشْهَدُوا مَنَافِعَ لَهُمْ وَیَذْکُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ فِی أَیَّامٍ مَعْلُومَاتٍ …

“That they may witness advantages for them and mention the name of Allah during stated days ….. (Hajj, 22:

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By witness of the benefits and perception of the benefits nothing is meant but a common purpose encompassing all the aspects of the affairs of the Muslims.


If truly the obligatory act of Hajj possesses such a place and position which the Holy Qiran and Sunnah; the past practices of the Muslims and the views of the contemporary writers guide us towards that then why should we neglect in making use of it?

If Hajj is the means of introducing monotheism in the hearts and forming a united front for the Muslims, then why shouldn't we mobilize through this means, the Islamic forces and powers against the aggressors who have committed oppression against the Islamic lands such as occupied Palestine!? If Hajj exhibits scientific, cultural and economic dimensions, then why shouldn't the Muslims during such an occasion find a solution and ease their economic problems and other twisted matters?

Why shouldn't the oppressed ones of Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa and Lebanon be given the opportunity to cry out (their problems) in the ears of the Muslims and why shouldn't they seek help from the Muslims in defending their just rights?

During Hajj, why shouldn't vast and extensive gatherings and congregations be held against the Eastern and Western Colonists and to expose their plots so that the Muslims return back to their respective countries with bright thoughts and united plans and programmes? For how long should we lose such golden opportunities and bear these losses?

We hope for the day when

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the foreign hands, who are at work behind the screen, are cut-off from the two holy shrines and the divine tombs and the places of Islam are looked after by a group selected from the Islamic society and the objectives of Hajj and its valuable effects are fulfilled in its real sense.

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About center

In the name of Allah

Are those who know equal to those who do not know?
al-Zumar: 9

Ghaemiyeh Computer Research Institute of Isfahan, from 2007, under the authority of Ayatollah Haj SayyedHasanFaqihImami (God blesses his soul), by sincere and daily efforts of university and seminary elites and sophisticated groups began its activities in religious, cultural and scientific fields.

Ghaemiyeh Computer Research Institute of Isfahan in order to facilitate and accelerate the accessibility of researchers to the books and tools of research, in the field of Islamic science, and regarding the multiplicity and dispersion of active centers in this field
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