Mas’alat al-Qubur – About Graves

Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad


Wahhabis recently wrote an article in which they accused my teacher Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani of making sujud on top of a grave and towards a grave on the basis of a picture which they published in a newspaper article, and a video which they produced and posted on youtube. All these claims are un-Islamic and false but typical of the method of Wahhabis in tampering and manipulating and distorting the truth to create FITNAH AND CHARACTER ASSASSINATION. From the Islamic perspective and the Shar’i obligation we must know the following points with regards to those fabrications and lies:

1. Mufti Ali Jumu`a (Allah preserve him) said: The honor of the Muslim deserves better than to be violated on the basis of what the eye sees or the ear hears through electronic devices. Shari’ah has the highest standards of verification. And Wahhabis are subject to it like everyone else, they are not above the law. Allah said:

قُلْ هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

“Qul hatu burhanakum in kuntum sadiqeen”
{Say: Give us your proof and demonstration if you speak truth!} (al-Baqarah 2:111).

And everyone knows that media productions are the easiest things to manipulate in order to represent falsehood in the guise of truth. For example: even if a punishable act is seen on video, it does not constitute proof of Shari`ah, you still need four witnesses. Otherwise the accuser is lashed for libel (qazf) and sent on his way and marked as a FASIQ. Let alone, when there is no authentic evidence to that effect, but rather anonymous claims and tampered pictures, spread by anonymous cowards. Beware also of false witness (Shahadat az-zur) which is one of the top five gravest sins (Kaba’ir) next to shirk, murder and treachery.

2. Furthermore, the claimed prostration may not be a prostration at all, even if it looks like it, such as looking for something under a chair, or helping the shaykh put on his Khuffs (leather socks). But from a distance it looks like a prostration; or bowing such as kissing the hands of one’s parents, or entering though a low door. This was mentioned by Habib Ahmad Mashhur Al-Haddad in his book Miftahul Jannah. So the one looking from a distance may refuse to give the benefit of good opinion and blame the innocent good Muslim for no reason. This happened when the Khalif Marwan ibn Abdul Malik came one day and saw a man putting his face on the grave of Prophet (saw). He grabbed him by the neck an said, “Do you have any idea what you are doing?” The man turned around and said “yes,” and it was Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari (r). He said “You must know that I came to the Prophet (saw), not to some stone! Furthermore, I heard the Prophet say: ‘Don’t weep over religion as long as it has qualified leaders in charge, but weep over it when the rabble (ruwaybidha) take over!’” Imam Ahmad narrated this report in his Musnad, and also Majd Ad-Din Ibn Taimiyyah (the grandfather of Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah) in his book of “Carefully Selected Hadiths of the Prophet” (Al-Muntaqa fi Ahadith al-Mustafa).
The same act of kissing the grave and crying over it is related from the great tabi`ee Muhammad ibn Al-Munkadir, whom Imam Sufyan ibn Uyaynah called an ocean of truthfulness. Imam Adh-Dhahabi – whom Wahhabis respect and adore – even excused someone who prostrates for the grave out of love, saying : “Allah is most forgiving and most merciful, and I swear by Allah, that the Muslim only gets emotional and cries out and kisses the walls and weeps, because he loves Allah and His Messenger, and THAT LOVE IS THE ONLY CRITERIA OF DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PEOPLE OF PARADISE AND THE PEOPLE OF HELLFIRE!”

3. Imam Abdullah bin Ahmad, the son of Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal, asked his father: “What do you say about someone who touches the minbar of Prophet (saw) and tries to get its blessings (tabarruk) by touching it, and kisses it; and he does the same thing with the grave, or anything else of that sort, asking to draw nearer to Allah?” IMAM AHMAD SAID: “THERE IS NO HARM IN THAT” (La ba’sa bihi). This is narrated in the book of Imam Ahmad “Al-‘Ilal wa Ma’rifat Ar-Rijal” Volume 2 page 492, and in “Almu`jam Al-Kabeer” of Imam Dhahabi volume 1 page 73 – Saudi edition. Then Adh-Dhahabi comments, “Show me the cretin who will criticize Imam Ahmad! MAY ALLAH PROTECT YOU AND ME FROM THE HERESIES AND INNOVATIONS OF THE KHAWARIJ.”

See how Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari and Imam Dhahabi are calling those people — LIKE THE WAHHABIS OF TODAY — UNQUALIFIED DEVIANTS, REBELS, HERETICS, INNOVATORS, CRETINS, KHAWARIJ, AND PEOPLE OF HELLFIRE. The Khawarij are those fanatic extremists who split the Ummah, always condemning other Muslims and fighting them, in the past and in our time.

4. Ibn Muflih Al-Hanbali said in his encyclopedia of fiqh entitled “Al-Mubdi`” (Extraordinary reference-book) in Hanbali fiqh – vol. 2 page 281: “It is mustahabb (desirable) for someone making ziyarah to stand in front of the grave, as close as he would if he visited him in his life. And it is allowed to touch the grave with his hand, because it resembles handshaking the living, especially if he hopes to obtain his blessings (barakah). The same is found in the faqih Mar’i Al-Karmi al-Hanbali’s book “Ghayatul Muntaha” volume 1, page 259.

5. Kissing the grave of your parents is allowed in the Hanafi Madhhab. This is explicitly mentioned in the encyclopedia of fatawa called “Fatawa Hindiyyah”, also known as “Fatawah Alamgiriyyah”, and in the commentary on Mishkat al-Masabih by Abdul Haqq Muhaddith Dihlawi entitled “Ashi`atu al-Lama`at” chapter on burial. Futhermore Imam Nawawi said, a Shaykh is more important than a biological father. He said this in his book “At-Taqrib wat-Taysir fi Marifati Sunan al-Bashir an-Nadhir”. Therefore our Shuyukh are more deserving of our love and respect in this life, and after their death. Allah said:

عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ بَلْ أَحْيَاء

{Bal Ahya’un ‘`nda rabbihim yurzaqun}{Rather, they are alive in the presence of their Lord and receiving provision} (Al `Imran 3:169).

May Allah subhan wa ta`ala save Malaysia and all Muslim countries of the FITNAH AL WAHHABIYYA and their batil. All previous great Muftis and true Ulema in our time have warned against the Wahhabiyya such as Sayyid Ahmad Zayni Dahlan, Sayyid `Alawi bin Taher Al Haddad the Mufti of Johore, Sayyid Muhammad bin `Alawi al-Maliki, `Allamah al-Sawi, Sayyid Yusuf bin Hashim al-Rifa`i, `Allama Muhammad Amin Abidin al-Shami, Sayyid Zayn bin Sumayt and countless others. It is time now to warn against them yet again and this is the real jihad to defend the Word of Haqq against jawr (crime) and batil (falsehood). Stay with the Ahl as-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama`ah , keep respect for Ahl al-Haqq and Tasawwuf, keep love for Ahlul Bayt, make dhikr and Salawat, keep Silatur Rahm with Awliya whether in dunya or Barzakh, fast and pray, and throw out fitnah and the people of fitnah who try to divide the Ummah.

This is just one quick rebuttal but we have much more and many more proofs that will be published in due time according to need insha’Allah. Prophet (saws) described these false teachers as wolves disguised as sheep and he said Allah (swt) said of them, “Are these false teachers not afraid of me? Are they trying to provoke Me?” And Allah said:

بَلْ نَقْذِفُ بِالْحَقِّ عَلَى الْبَاطِلِ فَيَدْمَغُهُ فَإِذَا هُوَ زَاهِقٌ وَلَكُمُ الْوَيْلُ مِمَّا تَصِفُونَ

{Nay, We hurl the Truth against falsehood, and it knocks out its brain, and behold, falsehood doth perish! Ah! woe be to you for the (false) things ye ascribe (to Us)} (al-Anbiya 21:28). Walhamdu lillahi Rabbil-`Alamin.


One of their Wahhabi propagandists said: “A highly authentic text (nas sahih) supports only visiting the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad, and not for others.” This is a grave lie against the Qur’an, the Sunna, the Shari`ah and the Religion of Islam as shown by the following proofs:

1. There is not in Islam a single nass whether authentic or inauthentic which says to visit only the grave of the Prophet Muhammad (saws). To claim such a thing is unheard of. Even the Wahhabis of the past 200 years never fell to such a low level of heart-blindness and cancer of ignorance as to lie through their teeth in such a way against Allah and His Prophet.

2. Allah swt said: وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ “And whatever the Prophet (saws) brings you, take it.” (al-Hashr 59:7) And the Prophet (saws) said: زوروا القبور فإنها تذكر الموت ZURUL QUBURA “Visit the graves!” This is narrated by Imam Muslim in his Sahih as well as in the book of Sunan and others such as al-Hakim, Ibn Hibban, al-Tabarani and the Musnad of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Al-Tirmidhi said:

عن سليمان بن بريدة عن أبيه قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قد كنت نهيتكم عن زيارة القبور فقد أذن لمحمد في زيارة قبر أمه فزوروها فإنها تذكر الآخرةقال وفي الباب عن أبي سعيد وابن مسعود وأنس وأبي هريرة وأم سلمة قال أبو عيسى حديث بريدة حديث حسن صحيح والعمل على هذا عند أهل العلم لا يرون بزيارة القبور بأسا وهو قول ابن المبارك والشافعي وأحمد وإسحق

Burayda (r) related that the Prophet (saws) said: “I had forbidden you in the past from visiting graves but Muhammad was granted permission to visit the grave of his mother, therefore visit them, for truly they remind you of the hereafter.” Al-Tirmidhi said: “It is related also from Abu Sa`id, Abu Hurayra and Umm Salama, and the hadith of Burayda is hasan sahih, and THIS IS THE PRACTICE AMONG THE PEOPLE OF KNOWLEDGE.”

3. Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari said Ibn Hazm even considered visiting the graves obligatory (wajib) at least once in a lifetime. This shows that visiting the graves of other than the Prophet (saws) is also accepted and put into practice by the people of knowledge in Islam, and wajib according to some of them, which conversely means that those who prohibit it or see something wrong with it are the PEOPLE OF IGNORANCE according to Imam al-Tirmidhi (rah) and HERETICAL UNBELIEVERS according to Ibn Hazm al-Zahiri (rah).

4. This is exactly the attribute of Wahhabis in our time, as they claim to defend religion with dalil (proof) but they do not even know the dalil; and if they do, they misunderstand it and distort its meaning (tahrif), or interpret it away (ta`til); and if they understand it, they do the very same tahrif and ta`til by quoting it out of context or disputing its authenticity. They keep banging their heads between three walls: ignorance, stupidity and bad faith. They end up saying the complete contrary of what Allah and His Prophet (saws) said, so we ask Muslim and especially our `Ulama of Ahl as-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama`ah  in Malaysia and everywhere: What is the status of those who hear that the Prophet commanded something and they answer “No”?

5. This is why our beloved defender of Ahl as-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama`ah in Egypt Dr Ali Gomaa (hafizahullah) calls the Wahhabis of today al-Nabitah – “weed.” They grow like mushrooms after yesterday’s rain and are useless or even poisonous; and our beloved defender of Ahl as-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama`h in Syria Dr Nur al-Din `Itr calls them Zahiriyya Jadida i.e. neo-literalists, but he always adds: “With the difference that the original Zahiris were knowledgeable and pious, not like the rawaybidha (rabble) of today.” May Allah save our Ummah from the rawaybidha that keep coming up and challenging Allah and His Prophet (saws) and attacking His Awliya! Allah will leave no one of those who attack his Awliya safe. On the contrary He will wipe them out and finish them, and that is what we will see soon in sha Allah.


The same Wahhabi propagandist said: “The claim that says Wali Songo [9 most famous Awliya of Indonesia whose graves everyone visits] will beg the Prophet Muhammad to forgive us is not acceptable – that is wrong. Only the Prophet can say so. Even the wife, children, grandchildren of Prophet cannot say that.”

The above claim is either incoherent or a lie, in both of which cases an irresponsible and false claim. In addition such a claim shows nifaq (hypocrisy) and disrespect toward the Prophet (saws) and his Family, because he singled them out to put them down on top of his deviancy in claiming what he does not know.

1. The claim is incoherent because MUSLIMS DO NOT BEG THE PROPHET (S) FOR FORGIVENESS. Rather, all Muslims beg Allah (swt) for forgiveness and come to the Prophet (s) as a wasila or means, ASKING THE PROPHET TO BEG ALLAH (SWT) for forgiveness on behalf of the Ummah as definitely established in the noble verse:

وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذْ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ جَاءُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا اللَّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُوا اللَّهَ تَوَّابًا رَحِيمًا

{and if only they had, after they wronged themselves, come to you [Muhammad] and asked forgiveness of Allah, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness on their behalf, they would have most certainly found Allah All-Forgiving, All-Merciful} (al-Nisa’ 4:64).

The above verse is mentioned with that precise application of USING PROPHET AS A MEANS TO OBTAIN ALLAH’S FORGIVENESS (tawassul) IN THE FIQH BOOKS OF ALL FOUR MADHHABS OF AHLUS SUNNA WAL JAMA`A, BOOK OF HAJJ, CHAPTER OF ZIYARA including the Hanbali Madhhab. We gave the full documentation in the section on Ziyara in the Encyclopedia of Islamic Doctrine.

2. However, if we assume that the Wahabi propagandist actually meant to say that “The claim that says Wali Songo [9 most famous Awliya of Indonesia whose graves everyone visits] will BEG ALLAH TO FORGIVE US is not acceptable – that is wrong. Only the Prophet can say so. Even the wife, children, grandchildren of Prophet cannot say that” then his claim graduates from being incoherent to being an outright lie bordering on blasphemy (kufr), as shown by the following proofs:

3. Claiming that Awliya in Barzakh definitely cannot ask Allah for forgiveness for us is kufr on several levels because:

(i) Denying the reality of the life of Barzakh (interlife) for pious Muslims is a rejection of Ahl as-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama`ah `Aqida and a promotion of the heresies of Mu`tazila, Jahmiyya, philosophers, secularists and materialists who deny the life in the grave which is established by Tawatur (mass transmission) as mentioned in Hadith compilations such as Kitab al-Mawt wal-Qubur by Ibn Abi al-Dunya, al-Baath wal-Nushur by Imam al-Bayhaqi, al-`Aqibah by Abd al-Haqq al-Ishbili, al-Tadhkirah li Ahwal al-Mawt wal-Akhirah by al-Qurtubi, al-Ruh and Hadi al-Arwah by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, Sharhus Sudur by Imam Suyuti, and many books of Aqida such as Usul al-Din by Imam Abd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi, Ibana of al-Ashari, Fiqhul Akbar of Abu Hanifa, Aqida Nasafiyya, Tahawiyya, Wasiyya of Abu Hanifa, Adudiyya, and countless others.

(ii) Denying the reality of the life of Barzakh constitutes a claim to know the unseen. Imam al-Nawawi and others said that anyone who makes an unfounded claim (i.e. not based on evidence) about the unseen has committed unbelief (kufr) by ijma` (consensus) in the Ummah.

(iii) Claiming that pious Muslims in Barzakh cannot make dua for us contradicts all the Ayats and Hadiths stating that they are alive, sustained, making dua and istighfaar etc. Imam al-Nawawi said in Sharh Sahih Muslim “THE LIFE OF BARZAKH IS ALL DU`A AND DHIKR.” All the proofs and mu`tabar (well-respected) fatwas to that effect are gathered in the book “The Life of Prophets in the Grave” which includes the rulings pertaining to non-Prophets.

4. The Wahhabi’s claim that Awliya cannot ask forgiveness for others after death shows his ignorance of hadith and of `Aqidat al-Tawhid as practiced by the Major Sahaba (r) as shown by the following proofs. Imam Muslim narrated in his Sahih, book of Iman, chapter on those who die on pure monotheism they will enter Paradise:

عن الصنابحي، عن عبادة بن الصامت؛ أنه قال: دخلت عليه وهو في الموت، فبكيت فقال: مهلا. لم تبكي؟ فوالله! لئن استشهدت لأشهدن لك. ولئن شفعت لأشفعن لك.
ولئن استطعت لأنفعنك.

“Al-Sunabihi said: I went in to see `Ubada ibn al-Samit as he was dying. I wept, whereupon he said: ‘Wait! WHY ARE YOU CRYING? I swear that if I am called upon to witness, I shall most certainly witness on your behalf! AND IF I AM TOLD TO INTERCEDE I SHALL MOST CERTAINLY INTERCEDE FOR YOU! AND IF I CAN BENEFIT YOU I SWEAR I WILL BENEFIT YOU!”

Observe how `Ubada ibn al-Samit (r) – one of the foremost Sahaba whom Sayyidina `Umar (r) described as “one in a thousand” – keeps perfect adab and at the same time trusts in Allah’s promise of Paradise for him, based on his being a sincere Muslim and going to Paradise for saying La ilaha illallah Muhammadun Rasulullah (as stated in the rest of that hadith) and on that basis he promises to intercede (shafa`ah) for his student after death so that his student should be happy, not sad.

5. The upshot of the above report is that Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama`ah are happy and not sad, because all of their pious predecessors are making shafa`ah (intercession) for them: The Holy Prophet (saws) is making shafa`ah, the Ahlul Bayt are making shafa`ah, the Sahaba are making shafa`ah, and the rest of the Salafus Salih are making shafa`ah for us! Allah (swt) said:

 وَيَسْتَبْشِرُونَ بِالَّذِينَ لَمْ يَلْحَقُوا بِهِم مِّنْ خَلْفِهِمْ أَلَّا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

{And they rejoice about those who did not yet join them and remain behind (still living), telling them they have nothing to fear nor will they ever grieve!} (Ali `Imran 3:170)

6. Ibn Kathir (rah) in his Tafsir of the above verse adduces the following report from Bukhari and Muslim, saying:

وقد ثبت في الصحيحين عن أنس ، رضي الله عنه ، في قصة أصحاب بئر معونة السبعين من الأنصار ، الذين قتلوا في غداة واحدة ، وقنت رسول الله صلى الله
عليه وسلم على الذين قتلوهم ، يدعو عليهم ويلعنهم ، قال أنس : ونزل فيهم قرآن قرأناه حتى رفع : ” أن بلغوا عنا قومنا أنا لقينا ربنا فرضي عنا وأرضانا

“It is firmly established as authentic in the two Sahihs from Anas (r), with regard to the seventy Ansar Companions who were murdered at the Well of Ma`una in a single morning, after which the Messenger of Allah (saws) imprecated against their killers inside Salat, cursing them, whereupon Anas said: ‘Qur’an was revealed concerning them, and we used to recite that until it was raised up (i.e. the verse was taken back and no longer kept as part of the Qur’an), saying: Convey to our people on our behalf the news that we have met our Lord and He was well-pleased with us and made us well-pleased!'”

Here we may see that the expression “AND MADE US WELL-PLEASED” (WA-ARDANA) in the above report refers to their being happy about those who are still living and making dua` and intercession for them, as found in the verse وَلَسَوْفَ يُعْطِيكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرْضَى wa-la-sawfa yu`tika Rabbuka fa-tarda, {Allah shall most certainly give you everything to MAKE YOU WELL-PLEASED} in Surat al-Duha (verse 5), which was explained as INTERCESSION (SHAFA`A) by Imam al-Baghawi in his Tafsir, and he added the Hadith Qudsi: “O Jibril, go to Muhammad and tell him, WE SHALL MAKE YOU WELL-PLEASED concerning your Ummah, and We will never slight you in the least over them.”

ولسوف يعطيك ربك فترضى : قال عطاء عن ابن عباس : هو الشفاعة في أمته حتى يرضى ، وهو قول علي والحسن . وروينا عن عبد الله بن عمرو بن العاص أن النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – قال : ” اللهم أمتي أمتي وبكى ، فقال الله : يا جبريل اذهب إلى محمد فقل له إنا سنرضيك في أمتك ، ولا نسوءك فيهم “

7. As for Wahhabis they are worried, angry and sad because they reject intercession by fabricating conditions like the one we quoted above (“Prophet only, not others!”) as they do not believe in its reality even with regards to the Prophet (saws). They are not following the Tawhid of Sahaba and Ahl as-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama`ah nor do they understand Tawhid despite all their claims of defending it. Rather, they try their best to restrict, narrow down, reduce, gainsay and ultimately deny all the above meanings because in their hearts they do not believe in the power of Allah to grant life in Barzakh in more real terms than this material life, and to grant intercession to whomever He wishes, however He wishes.

8. O Muslims of all Schools, and all people who believe that life and death in only in the Hand of Allah! Whenever you hear Wahhabis claiming that the power of a human being to help necessarily stops after death, know that SUCH WAHHABIS ARE MAKING SHIRK (ASSOCIATING) OF BIOLOGICAL LIFE WITH ALLAH. As it is obligatory to know and believe that THE CRITERIA OF ABILITY TO HELP IS NOT OUR BIOLOGICAL LIFE BUT THE QUDRA (POWER) OF ALLAH AND THE KHALIQIYYA (CREATORSHIP) OF ALLAH WITHOUT PARTNER AND WITHOUT SUBJECTION TO THE CONDITIONS OF LIFE OR DEATH. Allah created life and death and is in no way subject to their condition. This was clarified by the Qari and Muhaqqiq of Damascus Dr. Muhammad Samer al-Nass in his book al-Wasila ila Haqiqat al-Tasawwul (The Means to Understanding the Real Meaning of Tawassul) page 53 where he said:

ما الفرق في النفع والضُّر بين الحي والميت؟ إن المفرق هو المخالف بل هو المشرك شركا أصغر، وإذا اعتقده فشركه أكبر

“What is the difference in benefit and harm between the living and the dead? The one who makes a difference is violating the Shari`a; more than that he is committing minor shirk (shirk asghar), and if he really believes that then he is committing major shirk (shirk akbar).”

9. More importantly, ALLAH (SWT) AND HIS PROPHET (SAWS) DEFINED REAL LIFE NOT AS BIOLOGICAL LIFE BUT AS THE LIFE OF THE BELIEVER BOTH BEFORE AND AFTER DEATH. That is why the Prophet (saws) said: “The one who remembers Allah among those who do not remember Him is like the living walking among the dead.” And that is why Allah Most High said:

وَإِنَّ الدَّارَ الْآخِرَةَ لَهِيَ الْحَيَوَانُ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ

{and verily, the life of the hereafter – I swear that that is the real life! If they only knew!} (29:64)

But materialistic disbelievers in the hereafter and rejecters of Ghayb (the Unseen) want to throw out all those meanings and redefine the religion according their heretical innovations to make people follow Wahhabi principles and worship outward forms and their own lusts instead of Allah.

10. Finally, we leave you, dear reader, with these selected authentic reports (among many others) from our pious predecessors among the Salaf al-Salih which show that contrary to the claims of that Wahhabi liar, the Ummah acts lawfully when visiting the graves of Awliya for the sake of blessing, intercession and benefit just as taught by the Sahabi `Ubada ibn al-Samit (r), and from Allah is all success.

(i) “The early Muslims would come to the grave of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari to pray for rain.” – Narrated from Mujahid by Abu Nu`aym in the Hilya, Ibn al-Jawzi in Sifat al-Safwa and al-Dhahabi in Siyar A`lam al-Nubala’.

(ii) “We used to seek blessing (tabarruk) through the grave of Abu al-Fath al-Qawasi.” Narrated from al-Daraqutni by Abu Nu`aym in the Hilya, Ibn al-Jawzi in Sifat al-Safwa and al-Dhahabi in Siyar A`lam al-Nubala’.

(iii) “The grave of Ma`ruf al-Karkhi is a tried and proven cure-all (al-tiryaq al-mujarrab).” – Narrated from Ibrahim al-Harbi (one of the two most senior companions of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal) by Ibn al-Jawzi in Sifat al-Safwa and al-Dhahabi in Siyar A`lam al-Nubala’.

(iv) “I heard al-Shafi`i say that he would come to the grave of Abu Hanifa in Baghdad and use him as his intermediary for the fulfillment of his needs.” Narrated from Ali bin Maymun by al-Khatib in Tarikh Baghdad and al-Haytami in al-Khayrat al-Hisan.

(v) The same is narrated through various reports in relation to the grave of Imam al-Bukhari as in Ibn al-Subki’s Tabaqat al-Shafii`yya al-Kubrai and elsewhere.

(vi) The grave of Imam Ahmad in Baghdad received countless visitors for tawassul and tabarruk among the early Hanbalis. The Hanbali Qadi Muhammad Abu Ali al-Hashimi used to kiss the foot of the grave of Imam Ahmad as narrated by Ibn Abi Ya`ala in Tabaqat al-Hanabila as did many others. Ibrahim al-Harbi saw Imam Ahmad in dream and asked him: “How come people only kiss your grave and no other grave?” Imam Ahmad replied: “Because I have with me some hair of the Prophet (saws).” Ibn al-Jawzi narrated it in Manaqib al-Imam Ahmad. Finally, the Hanbali Hafiz of Hadith al-Diya’ al-Maqdisi in his book al-Hikayat al-Manthura narrated that his teacher the Hafiz Abd al-Ghani al-Maqdisi travelled from Damascus to Baghdad and wiped the grave of Imam Ahmad with his face and body seeking a cure from abscesses he was suffering from.

May Allah Most High heal us from all abscesses physical and spiritual through the blessing of His Holy Prophet Muhammad (saws), his Family, his Companions, and all the Awliya of the Umma for whoever asks, and those who insist on being excluded are free to remain out in the cold. Hasbuna Allah wa-ni`ma al-Wakil.


Mulla Ali al-Qari said in his commentary on al-Hisn al-Hasin, a collection of supplication and prayers which the Quran specialist Ibn al-Jazari compiled at the time Damascus was besieged by the Mongol and Crusader armies:

قال الملا علي القاري في شرحه عـلى (الحصـن الحصـين) الـذي ألفـه الإمام المقرئ ابن الجزري رحمهما االله أثنـاء محـاصرة دمشـق بجيـوش التتار والصليبيين ما نصه: (إذا زرت قبر نبي أو ولي أو عالم أو من دونهم مثلاً، وكنـت في كـرب عظيم، وأردت أن صاحب ذاك القبر تحضر روحه إليك وتشكو إليـه ظلامتك: أي بلسان حالك أو قالك ليشفع فيك عند المليك، فيكفيك ما أهمك ومن دائك يشفيك، فاقرأ (قل هو الله أحد) عشر مرات وإن قَدَّمْتَ قلــب القــرآن – أعنــي سورة ((يس)) – كــان أجــود وأسرع، والمعوذتين ثلاثا ثلاثا، وفاتحـة الكتـاب والأسـماء الحسـنى بعـد أول البقرة وآخرها. وتَغْمُضُ عينيك وتستحضر جميع قلبك ثم
تقـول: لا إله إلا االله ً ثلاثا، ((االله)) ثلاثا بالمـد (أي:  اللــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــه)، ثـم تسـكت سـكتةً لطيفـة وتقـول: «السلام عليكم ورحمة االله وبركاته يا سيدي فلان! أو: يا شـيخ! أو: يـا أستاذي! أو: يا رسول االله صلى الله عليه وسلم!». وتَعْرُضُ على المُزار ما أصابك من أكدار، يُجليها بِمِنَّة الستَّار، بشفاعة صاحب المَزار. وهـذه الفائـدة مـن أكبر الفوائد.) اهـ. كلام مُلَّا علي القـاري كـما ذكـره الشـيخ يوسـف النبهــاني في (شــواهد الحــق) نقلاً عــن تلميــذ العــارف عبــد الغنــي النابلسي: الشيخ مصطفى البكري الخلوتي رحمهم االله تعالى ونفع بهم، آمين.

Whenever you visit the grave of a prophet or a wali or a scholar or those below them in status, and you are in great distress, and you wish for the spirit (ruh) of the person in that grave be present with you so that you can complain to them of what is affecting you — meaning you complain through just being there or verbatim, SO THAT THEY WILL INTERCEDE FOR YOU IN THE PRESENCE OF THE SUPREME OWNER OF ALL, then He will suffice you against all that worries you and cure you of your disease: Recite Qul Huwa Allahu Ahad 10 times; and if you first start with the Heart of the Qur’an — I mean Surat Yasin — it is better and faster, then the last three Suras three times each, then the Fatiha, the beginning and end of Surat al-Baqara, and the Beautiful Names. Then you close your eyes and summon up all your heart to be present and say: La ilaha illa Allah three times, then ALLAH three times lengthening the final A. Then you stay silent for a while and then you say: Salam alaykum and the mercy of Allah and His blessings, O Sayyidi So-and-so! or: O Shaykh! or: O my teacher! or: O Messenger of Allah (saws)! AND YOU PRESENT YOUR PROBLEMS TO THE ONE YOU ARE VISITING. HE WILL LIFT THEM UP BY THE GIFT OF THE ALMIGHTY CONCEALER OF FAULTS, THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF THE ONE IN THAT GRAVE. This is one of the greatest benefits to know.

This is the end of Mulla Ali al-Qari’s words as quoted by Shaykh Yusuf al-Nabhani in his book Shawahid al-Haqq, as copied from the student of the Knower Shaykh Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi, Shaykh Mustafa Bakri al-Khalwati — Allah have mercy on them all and benefit us with them, Amin!

وحكى مفتي لبنان الشيخ الشهيد حسن خالد عن شيخه مفتي الشام الشيخ أبي اليسر عابدين رحمهما االله تعالى، أنـه كـان يـأمرهم بالـدعاء عند قبر الإمام
النووي رحمه الله لكونه مستجاباً هنـاك. فـرحم االله المتوسـلين والمتوسل بهم ونفعنا والمسلمين بهم إلا من أبى، آمين.

The martyred Mufti of Lebanon Shaykh Hasan Khalid related from his Shaykh the Mufti of Syria, Shaykh Abu al-Yusr Abidin — Allah have mercy on all of them — that he would always tell them to make dua` at the grave of Imam al-Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him) because dua` there was answered. May Allah Almighty have mercy on all those who make tawassul (ask for intercession) and the ones through whom tawassul is made, and may He benefit us and all Muslims through them, except those who refuse. Amin!



Asking for Madad

Saying Madad ya Ali

Asking Ya Shaykh Madad!


1. Yes, it is permitted, and it is mentioned in the sunnah of our The Holy Prophet (s) where he said:”If one of you loses something or seeks help or a helper (ghawth), and he is in a land where there is no one to befriend, let him say: “O servants of Allah, help me! (ya `ibad Allah, aghithuni), for verily Allah has servants whom one does not see.” Ibn Abi Shayba relates it in his “Musannaf” (7:103).

2. Al-Bukhari narrates in his Sahih that our mother Hajar, when she was running in search of water between Safa and Marwa, heard a voice and called out: “O you whose voice you have made me hear! If there is a ghawth (help/helper) with you (then help me)!” and an angel appeared at the spot of the spring of Zamzam.

3. Abu Ya`la, Ibn al-Sunni, and al-Tabarani in al-Mu`jam al-Kabir narrated that the Prophet (saws) said: “If one of you loses something or seeks help or a helper (ghawth), and he is in a land where there is no one to befriend, let him say: “O servants of Allah, help me! (ya `ibad Allah, aghithuni), for verily Allah has servants whom one does not see.” Al-Haythami said in Majma` al-Zawa’id (10:132): “The men in its chain of transmission have been declared reliable despite weakness in one of them.”

Another wording:

4. Al-Bayhaqi narrates on the authority of Ibn `Abbas in “Kitab al-Aadaab” (p. 436) and with a second chain mawquf from Ibn `Abbas in “Shu`ab al-Iman” (1:445-446=1:183 #167; 6:128 #7697) and a third from Ibn Mas`ud in “Hayat al-Anbiya’ ba`da Wafatihim” p. 44: “Allah has angels on the earth – other than the [two] record-keepers – who keep a record [even] of the leaves that fall on the ground. Therefore, if one of you is crippled in a deserted land where no-one is in sight, let him cry out: a’înû ‘ibâd Allâh rahimakum Allâh, ‘Help, O servants of Allah, may Allah have mercy on you!’ Verily he shall be helped, if God wills.” Ibn Hajar said its chain is fair (isnaduhu hasan) in “al-amali”.

The Shari` evidences prove that al-istighatha is a branch from the (overall) issue off seeking the means, or intermediation (at-tawassul), as is shown by examining these evidences, insha-Allah. It is not possible to treat this issue except after we understand the meaning of the utterance al-istighatha, and its use according to the Shari`ah. Linguistically, expression of al-istighatha in the sense of seeking aid and is built on that premise, that the istighatha of the created being is in what it has capability to do and its permissibility is agreed upon as in the Holy Quran in some of what is related about Prophet Moses (pbuh), where:

(فَاسْتَغَاثَهُ الَّذِي مِنْ شِيعَتِهِ عَلَى الَّذِي مِنْ عَدُوِّهِ فَوَكَزَهُ مُوسَىٰ فَقَضَىٰ عَلَيْهِ (15القصص

{and he who was of his caste asked him for help against him who was of his enemies. So Moses struck him with his fist and killed him.}(28:15)
This Madad was also asked by Dhul-Qarnayan using the term “help me” in Surat al-Kahf (a`eenuni) (18:95) which is the same root as “we turn for help” (nasta`een) in the Fatiha.
And from this includes whatever is within the capability of the created being for which their aid may be sought or their intercession. And it is related in a hadith regarding the shafa`, intercession on the Day of Judgment, as related by Bukhari with the wording “istaghaathu bi-Adam” they sought Adam’s assistance” (al-Bukhari, Chapter “On whom people seek in large numbers” 5/324), in other words they seek intercession (ash-shafa`ah). And this particular expression is repeated in what is mentioned about a group of prophets, upon them be peace. And istighatha, here, is with the meaning of seeking aid, support or help. And the image we have of assistance is for the prophets to seek from Allah at the last station of the Gathering and beginning of the final accounting. And that is the meaning of shafa`ah, intercession, and that is the meaning of calling upon other than themselves in that they seek from the Creator, which is the reality behind their invocation.

And the expression and the action of istighatha is ja’iz, permitted, and it is not possible for a knowledgable person to say it is forbidden, and to prefer to say “it is association (shirk) with Allah the Exalted,” after what has been authenticated in Sahih al-Bukhari.

Allah Most High ordered us in the Holy Qur’an to seek the means to Him (Qur’ān 5:35) and the Prophet showed us the manner with many du`ās. Among them, his saying, “O Allāh, I ask You by the right of those who ask You (bi-haqqi al-sa’ilīna `alayk),” which includes the righteous. The Hāfiz Ibn Hajar in his lessons on Imām al-Nawawī’s Adhkar said this is a fair narration. Indeed, the mention of “those whom You have favored” in the Fātiha is the most oft-repeated Tawassul through the righteous in the Ummah!

It is also established in the two Sahīhs that our liegelord `Umar made Tawassul through the Prophet’s uncle, al-`Abbās and, perhaps more important than all of the above (because it is more explicit), the Consensus of the Ummah makes it clear beyond the shadow of a doubt that it is lawful and legitimate to make Tawassul through the righteous as stated by al-Habīb Zayn al-`Abidīn ibn Sumayt in “al-Ajwibāt al-Ghāliya” when he said, among other statements to that effect: “Seeking the intermediary of the Prophets and Awliyā’ is a beloved act which is firmly established in the sound and other hadiths. The scholars concurred on seeking it and adduced proofs for it from matters that are too long to explain.”

As for why the Sufis mention their Shuyūkh, it is from etiquette as students of such Shuyūkh since Allāh Most High said to “enter the houses through their doors,” and from their good opinion of such Shuyūkh as being Friends of Allāh Most High as well as, in many cases, grandsons of the Prophet which increases the chances of such Tawassul to bear fruit. Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bārī cited Imām al-Hākim al-Naysabūrī as narrating in Tarīkh Naysabūr that a group of Shuyūkh went out to Tūs (present-day Iran) to visit the grave of our liegelord `Alī al-Ridā, among them the great Imām of Hadīth, Ibn Khuzayma. When they reached the spot, the latter entered into such a state of emotion and plaintive supplication that, the narrator said, “We were extremely puzzled; but when he [Ibn Khuzayma] was asked what was wrong he replied: ‘Leave me alone with what my soul feels toward `Ali al-Ridā.’” Therefore it is apt that the Sufis, in turn, as long as they are doing something blessed and approved by the Law, would ask any would-be questioner to kindly leave them alone with what their souls experience and know of the high station of the Awliyā.

Shaykh Khayr al-Din Ramli in his Fatawa Khayriyya (p. 180-181) was asked about “those who say: O Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir! O Shaykh Ahmad! O Rifa`i! [Give us] something for the sake of Allah (shay’un lillah) O `Abd al-Qadir! and such, at which time they become greatly entranced and experience states that make them jump up and down etc. He answered – Allah have mercy on him: ‘Know first of all that among the famous rules that are firmly put to use in the books of the Imams is the rule that matters are judged according to their ends… as taken from the hadith of the Two Shaykhs al-Bukhari and Muslim: Actions are only according to intentions…. and none denies the reality of the Sufis except every ignorant, foolish soul.'”
And Allah knows best.


Ibn Taymiyya said: “When one passes by the grave of his mu’min brother who he had known in the dunya, and stands at the qabr and says, `Assalamu `alaykum’, the person in the qabr will know him and also return his greeting.” [ Majmu`a Fatawa Ahmad Ibn Taymiyyah, 24:331]

We say: the above report has a basis by which it can be considered acceptable due to its multiple chains which we documented at length in the post we cite at the end of this section.

Imam al-Tabari (rahimahullah) in Tahdhib al-Aathaar said: “A large number of the Predecessors among the scholars of the Community said that the dead hear the speech of the living, whence the Prophet’s address to those buried in the well [at Badr]. They also said that his words to the Companions, ‘You certainly do not hear any better than they do,’ are the most resplendent exposition of the truth of what we have said: namely, that the dead hear the speech of the living.”
(Tahdhib al-Aathaar 2:491).

Al-Tabari then proceeds to narrates 14 Prophetic hadiths to that effect and, twenty pages down, introduces a chapter entitled “Mention of those of the Predecessors who asserted the Soundness of those Reports and said ‘Truly the Dead hear the Speech of the Living, and Speak, and are Cognizant,’ after which he narrates 11 reports from Abu Hurayra, Ibn Mas`ud, Jabir, and some of the Tabi`in to that effect. He concludes:

“IT IS THEREFORE OBLIGATORY TO FIRMLY ASSERT THAT ALLAH MAKES ANYONE OF HIS CREATION HEAR, AFTER THEIR DEATH, WHATEVER HE WISHES OF THE SPEECH OF LIVING HUMAN BEINGS AS WELL AS OTHER CREATURES IN ANY WAY HE WISHES, and He makes whomever among them He wishes understand whatever He wishes, and He grants bliss to whomever of them He likes with whatever He likes, and He punishes the unbeliever in his grave and whoever of them deserves punishment in any way He wishes, JUST AS THE NARRATIONS AND REPORTS FROM THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH STATE.” (Tahdhib al-Aathaar 2:518-519).

Among the subsequent authorities who positively asserted the reality of the hearing of the dead in their works or legal responses are:

• Ibn `Abd al-Salam in his Fatawa Mawsiliyya (pp. 100-101);
• al-Nawawi in the chapter of his Sharh Sahih Muslim entitled al-Janna wa-Sifat Na`imiha;
• Ibn al-Qayyim in the opening chapter of his Kitab al-Ruh;
• Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani in al-Jawab al-Kafi `an al-Su’al al-Khafi, in which he replies to twenty-nine questions pertaining to the state of the dead in the graves.
• al-Sakhawi in his magisterial treatise on the address to those recently buried (talqin) entitled al-Idah wal-Tabyin bi-Mas’alat al-Talqin;
• al-Suyuti in the opening fatwa of the first part of the responses on Resurrection in his Hawi lil-Fatawa (2:169-175 Mabhath al-Ma`ad, Ahwal al-Barzakh);
• the Hanafi jurist Muhammad `Abid al-Sindi al-Ansari in his treatise Hawl al-Tawassul wal-Istighatha (pp. 170-181) takes issue with the majority position of his school, according to which the dead can hear only immediately after their burial and before they are questioned by the angels and not thereafter. Indeed, the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) waited THREE FULL DAYS before addressing the dead Makkans in the well of Badr (al-Bukhari, Maghazi, Qatl Abu Jahl; Muslim, al-Janna wa-Sifat Na`imiha). He also mentioned that (i) SAYYIDA AISHA’S DENIAL OF THE HEARING OF THE DEAD WAS NOT BASED ON DIRECT WITNESSING OF THE EVENTS AT BADR BUT UPON REPORTS THROUGH INTERMEDIARIES; (ii) THE POSSIBILITY THAT SHE CHANGED HER UNDERSTANDING LATER, SINCE SHE ADDRESSED HER BROTHER ABD AL-RAHMAN IN HIS GRAVE A MONTH AFTER HE HAD BEEN BURIED (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Jana’iz, Ma Ja’a fil-Ziyarati lil-Qubur lil-Nisa’; al-Bayhaqi, Sunan 4:49).
• the unpublished 42-page Tawdih al-Bayyinat fi Sama` al-Amwat (1306/1888, mistitled Tarjih al-Bayyinat in the Azhar manuscript library catalogue) by the Mufti of Basra, `Abd al-Wahhab b. `Abd al-Fattah al-Hijazi al-Baghdadi
• the 500-page Tadhkirat al-Rashid bi-Radd Tabsirat al-Naqid by the Hanafi Imam al-Laknawi;
• the 300-page Hayat al-Mawat fi Bayan Sama` al-Amwat by the Hanafi Imam Ahmad Rida Khan in Urdu — Allah Most High have mercy on them all.

Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

© 2016 As-Sunnah Foundation of America

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