Response to Shaykh Faiik Gamieldin

The latter verdict puts to rest the possible claim that, on the basis of the above reports, such veneration applies only to the Prophet (s). This would be contrary to the rules of Islamic Principles (Usul) and probably none claims it except the uneducated.

Imam al-Dhahabi said: “Ahmad ibn Hanbal was asked about touching the Prophet’s saws grave and kissing it and he saw nothing wrong with it. His son ‘Abd Allah related this from him. If it is asked: “Why did the Companions not do this?” We reply: “Because they saw him with their very eyes when he was alive, enjoyed his presence directly, kissed his very hand, nearly fought each other over the remnants of his ablution water, shared his purified hair on the day of the greater Pilgrimage, and even if he spat it would virtually not fall except in someone’s hand so that he could pass it over his face. Since we have not had the tremen­dous fortune of sharing in this, we throw ourselves on his grave as a mark of commitment, reverence, and acceptance, even to kiss it. Do you not see what Thabit al-Bunani did when he kissed the hand of Anas ibn Malik and placed it on his face saying: “This is the hand that touched the hand of the Mes­senger of Allah saws”? Muslims are not moved to these matters except by their excessive love for the Prophet saws, as they are ordered to love Allah and the Prophet saws more than their own lives, their children, all human beings, their property, and Paradise and its maidens. There are even some believers that love Abu Bakr and ‘Umar more than themselves.” Al-Dhahabi, Mu’jam al-Shuyukh (1:73 #58).

Al-Dhahabi elsewhere relates that Imam Ahmad himself used to seek blessings from the relics of the Prophet saws then he lambasts who­ever would fault the practice of tabarruk or seeking blessings from blessed objects:

“’Abd Allah ibn Ah.mad said: “I saw my father take a hair that belonged to the Prophet saws, put it on his mouth, and kiss it. I believe I saw him put it on his eyes. He also dipped it in water and drank the water to obtain cure. I saw him take the Prophet’s saws bowl (qas’a), wash it in water, and drink from it. I saw him drink Zamzam water in order to seek cure with it, and he wiped his hands and face with it.” I say: Where is the quibbling critic of Imam Ah.mad now? It is also authentically established that ‘Abd Allah asked is father about those who touch the pommel of the Prophet’s e pulpit and touch the wall of the Prophet’s e room, and he said: “I do not see any harm in it.” May Allah protect us and you from the opinion of the Khawarij and from innovations!” Al-Dhahabi, Siyar A’lam al-Nubala’ (9:457). Ch. on Imam Ahmad, section entitled Min adabih.

As for the licitness or rather desirability of praying in a mosque that contains or is located near the grave(s) of one or more righteous persons, it is established from the hadith of the Prophet saws: “In the Mosque of al-Khayf there is the qabr of seventy Prophets.” Narrated from Ibn `Umar by al-Tabarani in al-Kabir and al-Bazzar with a chain of trustworthy narrators according to al-Haythami in Majma` al-Zawa’id (#5769, #5965).

Maqam without a body?

As for the confusion of Shaykh Gamiel over a bodyless maqam, and how could such a place be venerated, has he not heard of Maqam Ibrahim in front of the Ka`ba? There is also a Maqam Ibrahim in Barza, near Damascus, that the Ulema of Sham have authenticated as the place where Ibrahim (as) took refuge from Nimrud and prayed. Neither spot is his grave but both are venerated. It is established that his grave is in al-Khalil and it also is venerated. The pious Muslims in this Umma do not doubt that du`a is answered in such places, just as it is answered in the place of the Mawlid of the Prophet (s) in Makka, in Khadija’s house, etc. All of these being Maqams, as were the places where the Angel ordered the Prophet (s) to pray during his Isra’, teaching him: “This is the place where Musa (as) rested on his flight from Egypt, this is the place where `Isa (as) was born, etc. because, lo and behold, all such places were, are, and shall until the Day of Resurrection remain holy in Islam.

As for Shaykh Gamiel’s characterization of Muslims as committing “such practices as shirk” and his use of foul terms such as “shrine-worship”, “pagan ceremony” etc. it falls under the Qur’anic verse 16:116:

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