30 Statements and Observations on the Grave-Worshippers and Those That Call Upon the Dead

30 Statements and Observations on the Grave-Worshippers and Those That Call Upon the Dead

by | Feb 8, 2021 | Aqīdah, Bidah - Innovations and innovators | 0 comments

30 Statements and Observations on the Grave-Worshippers and Those That Call Upon the Dead

 

The following selection of statements and observations by the eminent scholar Shaikh Sulaimaan bin ‘Abdillaah bin Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah – d.1233H/1818CE) have been gathered from his exceptional and comprehensive work entitled: Tayseer al-‘Azeez al-Hameed Sharh Kitaab at-Tawheed in regard to the grave worshippers and those who call upon the dead and seek aid from them. The reference for each quote is stated alongside and footnotes have been added for elaboration.

 

The Grave Worshipper Has Failed to Understand the Kalimah: laa ilaaha illallaah or is Ignorant of its Meaning

 

1 “As for the grave worshippers, then they do not know the meaning of this kalimah (laa ilaaha illallaah), nor do they know rejection of deity for other than Allaah – but instead being firmly established for Him alone without any partners. Rather, they do not know from its meaning except that which the believer and disbeliever both acknowledge, and that which the creation is all in agreement on from its meaning being: that none has the power/ability over the creation or that there is no creator except Allaah.”[10] (1/216-217)

2 “The grave worshippers utter it (the kalimah) yet are ignorant of its meaning, and they refuse to come with it.[11] So they are rendered like the Jews who say it yet do not know its meaning nor act in accordance to it. So you will find one of them saying it and he deifies (idolizes) other than Allaah with love and exaltation and veneration and fear and hope and reliance and supplication when under distress, and betakes himself to it with an array of worship that emanate from his heart having the scope to deify for other than Allaah – of a nature that is greater than that which the early polytheists used to do.” (1/217)

3 “Likewise whoever says it (the Kalimah) from those who divert worship to other than Allaah such as the worshippers of the graves and idols, it therefore does not benefit them nor do they enter into this hadeeth which has come in regard to its virtue and that which is similar to it from the ahaadeeth. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) made that clear with his saying: ((alone without any partners for Him)) as a caution over the fact that a person may utter it whilst he is one who associates partners such as the Jews and the hypocrites. Yet the grave worshippers; since they saw that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) called his people to the saying: ((none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah)) they thought he called them only to the utterance of it! And this is tremendous ignorance.” (1/216)

4 “Many of them have rendered the mosques inactive and yet construct graves and shrines. So if one of them goes to the grave which he venerates, he takes to making supplication to its companion in a state of weeping and fearfulness and lowliness and humbleness in such a way that that would not transpire for him on a Friday or at the congregational prayer and when standing in the night for prayer and after the prayer has finished. So they ask them for forgiveness of sins and for relief from distresses and for salvation from the Fire and that they discharge the heavy burdens (of sin or crime) from them. How can a rational one – let alone a scholar think that the utterance of laa ilaaha illallaah benefits them along with these affairs?! They only utter it with their tongues, yet oppose it by way of their belief and their actions.”[12] (1/218-219)

5 “This is from the greatest of things that make clear the meaning of laa ilaaha illallaah, and that the intent by it is not the mere utterance of it, so if it does not protect the one who makes allowable that which is forbidden, or the one who refuses to perform the ablution (for prayer) for example, rather he is to be fought against that until he performs it. How then can it protect the one who professes religiousness with shirk and carries it out and loves it and praises it and commends its people and forms alliance on the basis of it and becomes hostile on the basis of it and loathes Tawheed which is to make ones worship sincerely and purely for Allaah and frees himself from it and wages war against its people and declares them to be unbelievers and causes hindrance from the path of Allaah – as is the circumstance of the grave worshippers?!” (1/340)

 

Their Opposition to Islamic Principles by Taking the Graves as Places of Worship

6 “That which the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) legislated in regard to visiting the graves, it was only for the remembrance of the Hereafter, as he said:

 

زُورُوا الْقُبُورَ فَإِنَّهَا تُذَكِّرُكُمُ الْآخِرَةَ

 

((Visit the graves, for indeed they remind you of the Hereafter))[13]

 

Likewise to show benevolence to the one being visited by asking Allaah to have mercy upon him and supplicating for him and seeking forgiveness for him, and asking pardon for him. The visitor therefore is benevolent to himself and to the deceased.

 

Yet the grave worshippers overturn the affair, and invert the religion, and make the purpose of the visitation as being: to commit shirk with the deceased and of his supplication and to supplicate by way of him and asking him for their needs and to aid them over their enemies and the like of that. So they become such that they cause detriment to themselves and to the deceased.”[14] (1/684)

 

7 “Veneration of the Prophets and the righteous and loving them is only by way of following that which they called to from beneficial knowledge and righteous action and to pursue their traditions and to traverse their way without worshipping them and worshipping their graves and being dedicated and preoccupied over them. Such as those that dedicate and preoccupy themselves over the idols and take them as congregational festivals of celebration and conventions of pilgrimage and debauchery and the abandonment of the prayers.

 

So whoever pursues their traditions then he is a cause for the increase of their reward by way of his following them and calling the people to following them, yet if he turns away from that which they called to and is preoccupied with its opposite, he deprives himself as well as them of that reward. So what veneration and respect is there for them in this?!” (1/701)

 

8 “They betake themselves to the graves of the Prophets and the righteous, and so build structures over them and paint their ceilings and walls, and decorate them with that which is of considerable value, and they adorn them with the colours of fine drapes, and appoint custodians and chamberlains for them[15] – the act of the worshippers of the idols and the cross. So they make sacrificial slaughter and vows for whoever is in it, and offer sacrifice for them, and they say: ‘These are our intercessors in removing the distresses and in forgiveness of sins and entry into Paradise.’

 

So; by Allaah, describe to me the shirk of the polytheists, is it none other than this?!” (1/120-121)

 

9 “These ones who are the venerators of the graves, those that take them as congregational festivals of celebration, those that light lamps over them, those that construct places of worship and domed structures over them, those who are in contradiction to what the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) commanded with, those that are in opposition and contrariety to that which he came with; the greatest of that being: taking them as places of worship and lighting lamps over them – and it is from the major sins. The Jurists from the companions of Ahmad and other than them have made clear its forbiddance.

 

Since; specifying the graves with prayer beside them resembles the veneration of the idols with prostration to them and drawing close to them. We have already reported that the origin of the worship of idols was on account of veneration of the dead by taking their images and wiping oneself with them and prayer beside them.”[16] (2/1414-1415 – abridged)

 

10 “Yet the grave worshippers refuse except to cast these ahaadeeth against the wall and to hurl them behind the back and to shove in its chests and rear by construing that to mean other than the graves of the Prophets and the righteous. As for their graves; then it is permissible (in their estimation) to pray to them and beside them and to construct mosques and domed structures over them – in the hope that some spiritual sentiments should reach them. Without doubt, this is unwillingness and opposition and contrariety towards Allaah and His Messenger, and this is the very saying of the Jews:

 

سَمِعْنَا وَعَصَيْنَا

 

((We hear and we disobey)) (An-Nisaa: 46)

 

For indeed the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) cursed whoever takes the graves of the Prophets and righteous as places of worship,[17] as is stipulated in the hadeeth of ‘Aaishah (radhiyallaahu ‘anhaa) and other than it, and so the graves of other than them; the prohibition of construction over them being taken from these ahaadeeth and their like by way of analogy is worthier – or from the generality of the other ahaadeeth. So from the greatest form of unwillingness and antagonism and opposition and contrariety to Allaah and His Messenger is to construe and so take something to mean other than that which has been reported and mentioned regarding it, and to make allowable that which has been reported and mentioned with a prohibition upon it – as well as a curse of the one who does it. However, this is the circumstance of the grave worshippers:

 

أَنَّمَا يَتَّبِعُونَ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ ۚ وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّنِ اتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ بِغَيْرِ هُدًى مِّنَ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

 

((They only follow their [own] desires. And who is more astray than one who follows his desire without guidance from Allaah? Indeed, Allaah does not guide the wrongdoing people.)) (Al-Qasas: 50)” (1/674-675)

 

 

Grave Worship and Calling Upon the Dead Are Acts of Major Shirk

 

11 “We only mention these acts of worship specifically because the grave worshippers have diverted them for the dead besides Allaah, The Most High, or that they have made association (of worship) between Allaah, The Most High, and them in that regard. Otherwise, every type from the types of worship – whoever diverts it to other than Allaah or attributes partners with Allaah, The Most High, with other than Him in it – then he is one who has associated partners. Allaah, The Most High, said:

 

وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا

 

((And worship Allaah and do not associate anything with Him)) (An-Nisaa: 36)

 

This is shirk in worship; it is the very thing that on account of which Allaah declared infidelity upon the polytheists.”(1/154)

 

12 “This type is present today from the grave worshippers, for indeed they fear the righteous – rather the Tawagheet (those things that are worshipped besides Allaah) as they should fear Allaah – rather more so, and it is due to this that if you were to direct one of them to take an oath by Allaah, he will give you whatever you wish from the oaths that are untruthful or truthful. Yet if the oath were to be taken by way of the occupant of the soil; he will not press ahead with the oath if he was lying, and that is not the case except because the one who is interred in the soil is more feared by him than Allaah. No doubt; the shirk of the early ones did not reach this extent, rather the exertion of their oaths was to take the oath by Allaah, The Most High.” (2/971-972)

 

13 “Likewise if one them is afflicted with oppression; he does not seek its relief except from those who are interred in the soil, yet if he intends to oppress someone, and he (the subject of oppression) seeks refuge/protection by way of Allaah or by His House – he does not safeguard (inflicting harm upon) him, and yet if he seeks refuge by way of the inhabitant of the soil or by way of his burial soil – then no one will press ahead against him nor would he be subject to harm.

Such is the case that some of the people took out a great deal of funds during the days of the Hajj season, then after some days one (of the traders) manifested insolvency, so the fund owners rose up against him and so he resorted to a grave in Jeddah known as ‘Al-Madhloom’ (the oppressed). Thereafter no one would subject him to misadventure – out of fear of the enigma of Al-Madhloom!” (2/972)

 

14 “However; that which the grave worshippers do when you seek an oath by Allaah from one of them is that he will give you whatever you wish from the oaths that are truthful or untruthful. Yet if you sought an oath from him by the Shaikh or his burial soil or his life and the like of that then he will not press ahead with the oath by that if he is untruthful. This is major shirk without doubt, because the one by whom the oath is taken is deemed more fearful and venerable and greater with him than Allaah, and the shirk of the idol worshippers did not reach this extent, because exertion of oath with them was to swear by Allaah, as He, The Most High, said:

 

وَأَقْسَمُوا بِاللَّهِ جَهْدَ أَيْمَانِهِمْ ۙ لَا يَبْعَثُ اللَّهُ مَن يَمُوتُ

 

((And they swear by Allaah their strongest oaths [that] Allaah will not resurrect him who dies)) (An-Nahl: 38)

 

So whoever’s exertion of his oath is by way of swearing by a Shaikh or by his life or his burial soil, then it is a greater shirk than theirs.” (2/1173)

 

The Shirk of the Grave Worshippers and the Shirk of the Polytheists

 

 

15 He, The Most High, said:

 

إِنَّمَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَوْثَانًا وَتَخْلُقُونَ إِفْكًا ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ لَا يَمْلِكُونَ لَكُمْ رِزْقًا فَابْتَغُوا عِندَ اللَّهِ الرِّزْقَ وَاعْبُدُوهُ وَاشْكُرُوا لَهُ ۖ إِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ

 

((You worship besides Allaah only idols, and you invent falsehood. Indeed those whom you worship besides Allaah do not possess for you [the power of] provision. So seek from Allaah provision and worship Him and be grateful to Him. To Him you will be returned.)) (Al-Ankaboot: 17)

 

“I say: in this aayah is a refutation of the polytheists who call upon other than Allaah in order that they should intercede for them with Him in acquisition of sustenance. What then is your assumption of the one that calls upon their very selves and seeks rescue with them that they should provide him with sustenance and aid him – as occurs from the grave worshippers?” (1/507-508)

 

16 “He, The Most High, makes clear that He is The One to be called upon at times of hardships, that He alone is the Remover of harm, therefore He is The One to be worshipped – alone, this is what he said in this aayah:

 

أَمَّن يُجِيبُ الْمُضْطَرَّ إِذَا دَعَاهُ وَيَكْشِفُ السُّوءَ

 

((Is He [not best] who responds to the distressed one when he calls upon Him and removes the harm)) (An-Naml: 62)

 

It is likewise known that the polytheists knew that no one had the ability over these affairs except Allaah alone, and so when the hardships would come upon them, they would dedicate the supplication sincerely for Allaah alone, as He, The Most High, said:

 

فَإِذَا رَكِبُوا فِي الْفُلْكِ دَعَوُا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ فَلَمَّا نَجَّاهُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ إِذَا هُمْ يُشْرِكُونَ

 

((And when they embark on a ship, they invoke Allaah, sincere to Him in religion, but when He brings them safely to land, behold, they ascribe partners [unto Him].)) (Al-‘Ankaboot: 65)

 

It therefore becomes clear that whoever believes in other than Allaah that he can remove harm or answers the call of the one who is distressed or that one calls upon him for that; then he has commit shirk – a shirk greater than the shirk of the Arabs, as occurs from the grave worshippers.” (1/510-511 – abridged)

 

17 “So worship; they only intend by it the worship of the occupant of the grave, thus he is the one whom they worship by firmness of will. What substantiates that is that which Al-Faakihi reports from Ibn ‘Abbaas: ‘That when Al-Laat died, ‘Amr bin Luhay said to them: ‘he did not die, but rather he entered the cave.’ So they worshipped it and built a house upon it.’

 

Observe the action of the pagans with this idol, then weigh up between it and the construction of domed shrines over the graves and dedication and preoccupation beside them and supplication to them and making them a comfort of delight at times of distresses.

 

As for Al-‘Uzza, then Ibn Jareer said: ‘It was a tree on which there were structures and drapes at some date palms between Makkah and Taa’if, the Quraish used to venerate it,’ Ibn Hishaam said: ‘They used to hear a voice from it.’ Abu Saalih said: ‘Al-‘Uzza was at some date palms, they used to suspend straps and dyed wool on it.’ Reported by ‘Abd bin Humaid and Ibn Jareer.

 

Observe then the act of the polytheists with this idol, and weigh up between it and that which the grave worshippers do by way of supplication to it (the grave)[18] and slaughter beside it and suspending threads and casting scraps of paper into the tombs of the dead and the like of that.” (1/397-399 – abridged)

 

18 “He, The Most High, said:

 

فَإِذَا رَكِبُوا فِي الْفُلْكِ دَعَوُا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ فَلَمَّا نَجَّاهُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ إِذَا هُمْ يُشْرِكُونَ

 

((And when they embark on a ship, they invoke Allaah, sincere to Him in religion, but when He brings them safely to land, behold, they ascribe partners [unto Him].)) (Al-‘Ankaboot: 65)

 

So this was the state of the earlier polytheists. As for the grave worshippers of today, then laa ilaaha illallaah, how much is there between them and the early polytheists from great contrast in shirk. For if they are afflicted with misfortunes on land and sea; they become sincerely dedicated to their deities and their figurines that they call upon besides Allaah, and most of them have taken to mention his deity and his Shaikh as a habit and as his customary speech. If he arises and sits and if he stumbles, this one says: ‘O ‘Ali’ and this one says: ‘O ‘Abdul-Qaadir’ and this one says: ‘O Ibn ‘Ulwaan’ and this one calls upon Al-Badawi and this one calls upon Al-‘Aidaroos.”[19] (1/480)

 

19 He, The Most High, said:

 

مَّا يَفْتَحِ اللَّهُ لِلنَّاسِ مِن رَّحْمَةٍ فَلَا مُمْسِكَ لَهَا ۖ وَمَا يُمْسِكْ فَلَا مُرْسِلَ لَهُ مِن بَعْدِهِ ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

 

((Whatever Allaah opens to mankind of mercy – none can withhold it; and whatever He withholds – none can release it thereafter. And He is the All-Mighty, The All-Wise.)) (Faatir: 2)

 

“So it is has been specified that no one is to be called upon for that except Him, and that supplication to other than Him is futile – from those that do not posses any harm or benefit for himself; let alone for other than himself, and this is the opposite of that which the grave worshippers are upon. For they believe that the Awliyaa and the Tawagheet (those things that are worshipped besides Allaah) which they call refer to as: Al-Majadheeb[20] – that they bring about benefit and harm and that they can cause harm as well as alleviate it, and that they have power of disposal in the dominion; either:

 

By way of miraculousness – and this is beyond the shirk of the disbelieving Arabs

or:

By way of mediation between them and Allaah through intercession – and this is the shirk of those who say:

 

مَا نَعْبُدُهُمْ إِلَّا لِيُقَرِّبُونَا إِلَى اللَّهِ زُلْفَىٰ

 

((We do not worship them except that they should bring us closer to Allaah.)) (Az-Zumar: 3)” (1/506)

 

Their Exaggerations and Going Beyond Bounds in Their Beliefs of Whoever They Seek to Venerate

 

20 “Indeed, the grave worshippers do not limit themselves upon some of those in whom they hold belief of bringing harm or benefit, rather everyone in regard to whom they assume that; then they exaggerate in praise of him, and have him occupy the status of Ruboobiyyah and so they divert sincere servitude to him. Such that if a man comes to them claiming that he saw a dream – its signification being that in a certain location a righteous man is buried, they hasten to the location and construct a domed shrine over it and decorate it with an array of decoration and worship it with a variety of acts of worship.”[21](1/482)

 

21 “From ‘Umar who said that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:

 

لَا تُطْرُونِي، كما أَطْرَتِ النَّصَارَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ، فإنَّما أَنَا عَبْدُهُ، فَقُولوا عبدُ اللَّهِ، وَرَسُولُهُ

 

((Do not praise me as the Christians praised the son of Mary. I am but His slave, so say: the slave of Allaah and His Messenger.))[22]

 

Meaning: do not praise me and so you go to exaggeration in regard to me of praise of me as the Christians exaggerated in regard to ‘Eesaa and thus claimed Ruboobiyyah (Lordship) in regard to him. I am but ‘Abdullaah – a slave of Allaah, therefore describe me with that just as my Lord described me with it, so say: the slave of Allaah and His Messenger.

 

Yet the grave worshippers refuse except to be in opposition to his commands and in perpetration of his prohibitions and they contradict him with the greatest contradiction. They think that if they describe him with being the slave of Allaah and His Messenger; and that he is not to be called upon and not to be sought deliverance from and not have vows made by way of him and that his chamber is not to be made circumambulation of, and that he has nothing for him from the decision and that he knows nothing of the unseen except that which Allaah taught him; that in that is an injustice towards him and a diminishment of his rank.[23] So they elevate him above his station, and claim for him that which the Christians claim in regard to ‘Eesaa – or close to it, and so they ask him for forgiveness from sins and to be relieved of distresses.”[24] (1/642-643)

22 “Imaam Al-Haafidh Ibn ‘Abdul-Hadi said in his rebuttal of As-Subki: ‘and his saying [i.e. the statement of As-Subki]: ((indeed exaggeration in veneration of him; meaning veneration of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is obligatory.)) If he intends by it the exaggeration on account of what every individual sees as veneration, even so far as to perform Hajj to his grave and to make prostration to it and to perform circumambulation around it and to believe that he knows the unseen and that he gives and withholds and possesses for whoever seeks deliverance from him any harm and benefit besides Allaah, and that he settles the needs of the those who ask and provides relief from the distresses of those who are distressed and that he intercedes for whoever he wishes and enters into Paradise whoever he wishes. So the claim of exaggeration in this (kind of) veneration is an exaggeration in shirk and is a separation from the totality of the religion.’

 

I say: this is the belief of the grave worshippers in regard to he who is lesser than the Messenger let alone in regard to the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), some of which has already preceded, and the affair is greater and more serious than that.” (1/496)

23 “So it becomes clear that the origin of shirk with regard to the righteous ones is by way of exaggeration in regard to them. Just as the reason for shirk with regard the stars is by way of exaggeration in regard to them and belief of bad luck and good luck in them and the like of that, and this is what is predominant upon the philosophers and their likes, just as that is predominant upon the grave worshippers and their likes. It is likewise the origin of idol worship, since they venerated the dead with an innovated veneration; hence they portrayed their images and sought to get blessings by way of them. So the affair eventually led to the point that the images were worshipped as well as the one whose image it was, and this was the initial shirk that occurred upon the earth. [25]

It is likewise that which Satan inspired to the grave worshippers in these times, since he threw at them (the notion) that construction over the graves and dedication and preoccupation with them is from love of the righteous and veneration of them and that supplication beside it[26] is more anticipated in being answered than that of the supplication in the Masjid al-Haram and (other) mosques.” (1/637-638)

 

24 “So shirk did not occur except due to exaggeration in regard to them (i.e. the righteous). For indeed those that associated partners in regard to them went to exaggeration in relation to them, and gave them the status of divinity and disobeyed their command and demeaned them in the image of veneration of them. So you will find most of these ones that go to exaggeration in regard to them; that they will be dedicated and preoccupied over their graves, turned away from the path of the one who is (interred) in it as well as from his guidance and his Sunnah, cynical critics of it, busied with their graves from that which they were commanded with and called to.” (1/700)

 

Some of the Beliefs of the Grave Worshippers and the Innovated Practices and Superstitions to be Found With Them

 

25 “Most of them concoct tales that some of the people sought deliverance from someone – and so he delivered him, or that he called upon such and such a Wali (in supplication) and so he answered him, or in regard to a distress and so he relieved him of it, and there is a great deal of that with the grave worshippers – from the sort that is found with the idol worshippers over whom the devils have gained ascendancy and have played with them – the play of boys with that of a ball.”[27] (1/481)

 

26 “As for the well known graves – or those that are erroneous,[28] then their actions with them and beside them cannot be enumerated. Many of them, when they see the domed shrines that they seek out, they uncover the heads and dismount from the camel-saddles, then when they come to them they perform circumambulation at them and touch/kiss its corners and wipe themselves with it and pray two units of prayer beside it and shave the heads beside it and stand crying, lowly, humble, asking for their requests – and this is the Hajj.[29]

 

Many of them will prostrate to it upon seeing it and they will rub their faces into the soil out of veneration of it and humility for the one who is in it. So if there is a need for an individual from amongst them from seeking cure for a sick one or other than that, he calls upon the occupant of the grave: ‘O my master so and so, I came heading to you from a far off place, do not disappoint me.’ Likewise if the rain is withheld or a woman is barren from begetting a child or that an enemy or locusts have taken them unawares, then they hasten to the occupant of the grave and cry beside it. If therefore that which is destined comes to pass by reason of attainment of something of what they desired; they rejoice and become delighted and attribute that to the occupant of the grave. Yet if nothing of that is facilitated; they offer excuse on the part of the occupant of the grave in that he is either absent in another place or is angered on account of some of their actions, or that their belief in the Wali is weak, or that they did not give him his vow, and the like of this from the superstitious yarns.” (1/482-483)

 

27 “Many of the grave worshippers call upon the dead from a distance of a month and more, they ask him for their needs and they believe that he hears their call and responds to them. When in a state of embarking upon the sea and during its turmoil you will hear from them the calling upon the dead and seeking deliverance from them; that which would not occur to the mind. Likewise if they are afflicted with distresses – from illness or solar eclipse or severe wind or other than that, then the patron in that is set before their eyes, and seeking deliverance from him is their delight, and if we were to go about mentioning that which is similar to this, then the discussion would surely become prolonged.” (1/489)

 

28 “If therefore taking the Angels as intercessors besides Allaah is shirk, how then with regard to taking the dead (as intercessors) as the grave worshippers do?! Or how with regard to taking the debauchees and evil-doers – the brethren of the devils from the Majadheeb whom Iblees (Satan) has allured to be at his side and in obedience to him – as that of intercessors?! And greater than that is the belief of Lordship towards these damned individuals, together with that which the people witness from them by way of debauchery and an array of depravities and the abandonment of the obligatory prayers and carrying out abominations and of roaming the market places in a state of nakedness.” (1/596)

 

29 “The one who is interred within it (the grave) is greater in the hearts of the grave worshippers than Allaah – and more feared, and so due to this if you sought an oath by Allaah, The Most High, from one of them, then he will give you whatever you wish from the oaths – whether dishonestly or truthfully, and yet if you sought by way of the occupant of the soil; he will not press ahead if he is dishonest. And without doubt; the worshippers of figurines and idols; their shirk has not reached this extent, rather if they intended to impose stricter conditions of inviolability upon the oath; then they would make it inviolable by way of (the mention of) Allaah, as occurs in the incident of Al-Qasaamah and other than it.” (1/682-683)

 

30 “You will find the prop of many of the people in their belief of the concept of: holy being/pious spirituality towards an individual that there may have arisen from him a disclosure in regard to some affairs – or some extraordinary phenomena that exceeds customary norms such as his indicating towards someone and so he dies. Or that he flies in the air to Makkah or other than it on occasions, or that he walks on water or fills a jug out of thin air, or that he informs on some occasions of something from the unseen. Or that he becomes hidden sometimes from the eyes of the people or informs some of the people of what has been stolen from them or of the condition of someone absent or sick, or that some of the people sought rescue from him whilst he was absent or deceased, and so one had seen him come and fulfilled his need or the like of that.[30]

 

There is nothing in these affairs that suggests that its associate is a Muslim, let alone that he should be a Wali of Allaah, The Most High. Rather the Awliyaa of Allaah are in agreement upon the fact that if a man were to fly in the air and walk on water – one should not become deceived by him until his following of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is looked at – as well as his conformance to his commands and prohibitions.

 

The likes of these affairs – its associate could be a Wali of Allaah and yet he may be an enemy of His. For indeed it may transpire for many from the disbelievers and polytheists and the Jews and the Christians and the hypocrites and the people of innovation, and so it occurs for these people on the part of the devils or it may be gradual deceitful persuasion. Therefore it is impermissible to think that every individual who possesses anything from these affairs is a Wali of Allaah. Rather the Awliyaa of Allaah are known by their characteristics and their circumstances and actions which have been pointed out by the Book and the Sunnah.[31]

 

Most of these affairs are to be found in individuals whom anyone of them will not perform ablution and does not pray the obligatory prayers and does not observe cleanliness nor does he purify himself with legislated purification. Rather he will be in a surrounding environment of impurities, one who observes comradeship of dogs, one who betakes himself to the dung-heaps, his odour will be foul, a perpetrator of lewd indecencies. One who roams the marketplaces in exposure of his loins, being satirical towards the legislation – mocking of it and of its carriers, one who devours scorpions and impure subsistence that are loved by the devils. A disbeliever in Allaah, a prostrator to other than Allaah from the graves and other than them, one who dislikes listening to the Qur’aan and flees from it and gives preference instead to listening to songs and poetic works and the wood-wind instruments of Shaitaan (Satan) – over that of the speech of Ar-Rahmaan (The Most Merciful). So if there were to come to pass at the hands of an individual from the extraordinary phenomena – whatever may come to pass, then he will not be a Wali of Allaah and beloved to Him until he is a follower of His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) – inwardly and outwardly.” (2/804-805)

 

Conclusion

It is from this veneration of the graves and exaggeration towards them and going beyond bounds in regard to the dead that Satan leads mankind to outright grave worship and calling upon the dead in the hope of attaining what they desire from well being and prosperity and to repel from them that which they seek to avoid from ills and harms. This is how he entered the idols on those that came before us and led them into becoming polytheists and engaging in major shirk.

 

Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “And Satan has beguiled them in that this veneration of the graves and of the scholars and the righteous, that the stronger you are in veneration of them and the more intense in exaggeration of them, then you will be rendered more prosperous in nearness to them and more distant from their enemies. By the everlasting existence of Allaah; it is from this exact opening that he entered Yaghuth and Ya’ooq and Nasr upon the servants, and from it he entered upon the idol worshippers; ever since their existence – until the Day of Resurrection.”[32]

 

The religion of Islaam therefore has ensured that all avenues to associating partners with Allaah are cut off, and that mankind are to worship Him alone – without associating any partners of any sort with Him. The Book of Allaah and the fine example of the life and call of His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) are in clear testimony to this. Therefore building structures, shrines and mausoleums over the graves and taking them as places of worship is strictly forbidden in Islaam, since it is a means that leads to the worship of other than Allaah.

 

Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said:[33] “Consequently, there cannot come together a Mosque and a grave in the religion of Islaam, rather whichever of them is added over that of the other, then it is to be barred from it, and the ruling is for the former, so if they were established together, then it is not permitted, and this endowment is not correct – nor is it allowed. Prayer in this Mosque is not correct due to the prohibition of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa aalihi wa sallam) against that, and due to his invoking a curse upon the one that takes the grave as a place of worship.

 

So this is the religion of Islaam which Allaah sent His Messenger and His Prophet with, and yet its strangeness amongst the people is as you see.”

 

[10] Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) said: “The polytheists understood that the meaning of laa ilaaha illallaah is the abandonment of shirk and making worship purely and sincerely for Allaah alone, and yet these Quburiyoon (grave worshippers) today do not understand this, and therefore they gather between shirk and the utterance of laa ilaaha illallaah, and they may interpret laa ilaaha illallaah that its meaning is: the acknowledgement that Allaah is The Creator and The Sustainer. They say: Whoever acknowledges that Allaah is The Creator and The Sustainer, then he has actualized Tawheed and has bore witness to laa ilaaha illallaah, and there is no objection after that with them that one should slaughter for the dead and draw close to the them with an array of acts of worship. It is as though these people do not know that the polytheists from whom the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) sought that they say: laa ilaaha illallaah were in acknowledgement that Allaah is The Creator and The Sustainer.” (Al-Khutab al-Minbariyyah fil-Munasabaat al-‘Asriyyah 3/16)

 

[11] Shaikh Al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) mentioned: “The polytheists understood it (the Kalimah) because they were Arabs of pure literary eloquence, and yet the Quburiyoon (grave worshippers) today do not understand the meaning of laa ilaaha illallaah, nor do they know of its requisites. Therefore they say: laa ilaaha illallaah whilst they worship the dead. So the early polytheists were more knowledgeable than them of the meaning of laa ilaaha illallaah and more knowledgeable of its requisites. These Quburiyoon say: laa ilaaha illallaah; and along with that they say: ‘O ‘Ali, O Hussain, O ‘Abdul-Qaadir.’ They call upon the dead and seek rescue from them in fulfillment of needs and the alleviation of distresses and they make circumambulation of their graves and perform slaughter for them. So what is the meaning of laa ilaaha illallaah with these people and what is its benefit?” (Al-Khutab al-Minbariyyah fil-Munasabaat al-‘Asriyyah 1/8)

 

[12] Shaikh Sulaimaan (rahimahullaah) said: “As for utterance of it without having an understanding of its meaning nor of acting upon its requisites, then indeed that is not beneficial – by consensus.” (Mughni al-Mureed 1/367 For the original source refer to: Tayseer al-‘Azeez al-Hameed 1/205)

 

[13] Reported with this wording by Aboo Nu’aym in his Mustakhraj; it is also reported with a slight difference in wording by Muslim (no.2256)

 

[14] Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: “In asking from the dead on the part of the living there is no benefit for the living – nor for the dead. Rather in it is committing shirk with the deceased and being a nuisance to him, for indeed his supplication harms him and there is no benefit in it for the living. Rather in it is his wrongdoing to his own self and his committing shirk with his Lord and his being a nuisance to the deceased. So in it are the three types of wrongdoing.” (Qaa’idah al-‘Adheemah p.74)

 

[15] Shaikh Saalih al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) said regarding the reason for the forbiddance of building over the graves: “Because that is a means to committing shirk with Allaah, The Mighty and Majestic. Since if the grave has a structure built upon it or has drapes and decorations placed over it; then the general masses and ignorant ones will be put to trial by it, and they will assume that such work has not been carried out upon it except because there is mysterious secret in it, and that it is a place for worship and supplication and requesting needs – as is the state of affairs. It is due to this that it is from the guidance of Islaam in regard to the graves that the deceased is to be buried in a common cemetery along with the deceased ones from the Muslims, and that he is to be buried in the soil of his grave from which it was dug, it should not be added to. It is to be raised from the earth by the amount of a hand-span of soil so that it should be known that it is a grave and so should not be trampled underfoot and nothing should be built over it. This is how the graves of the companions were in the era of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and this is the guidance of Islaam in relation to the graves.” (I’aanatul Mustafeed Sharh Kitaab at-Tawheed 1/398-399)

 

[16] Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: “From the greatest of reasons for the worship of idols is drawing images and venerating the graves.” (Al-Jawaab as-Saheeh 1/347)

 

[17] The understanding of taking the graves as places of worship is explained by Shaikh Al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) who said: “That which is possible to be understood from this ‘taking’ is three meanings:

 

The first: prayer over the graves, with the signification of making prostration upon them.

 

The second: prostration to them and facing them with prayer and supplication.

 

The third: building mosques over them and intending to pray in them.” (Tahdheer as-Saajid p.21)

 

[18] Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: “The aim/intention of making supplication at the graves is not from the religion of the Muslims.” (Majmu’ Fataawa 27/167)

 

[19] Shaikh Muhammad Amaan al-Jaami (rahimahullaah) mentioned: “If a person – as is the reality of things in many of the Islamic societies, were to believe in regard to his dead Shaikh that he brings about harms and benefits and knows what is in himself and so he calls upon him and seeks deliverance from him. So when he travels he bids him farewell – seeking safety from him as well as for returning back with safety, then when he returns with the safety of Allaah – not the safety of the Shaikh he forgets Allaah and thanks the Shaikh and makes slaughter for him because he has returned with the safety of the Shaikh – by his claim. Is this a Muslim?! This is a strange affair, is this more severe or that which transpired from the early polytheists? So if this person were to die upon this shirk, what would be said of him; did he die upon Islaam?!” (Sharh Nawaaqidh Al-Islaam p.401-402)

 

[20] Al-Majdhoob (pl. Al-Majadheeb) is one of eight levels or ranks that the Sufi’s have laid down for those that they refer to as the Awliyaa of Allaah. (See: Ash-Shirk fil-Qadeem wal-Hadeeth p.934)

 

[21] Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: “Likewise the shrines that are attributed to some of the Prophets or the righteous ones – on the basis of it having been seen there in a dream, and seeing the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) or a righteous man in a dream at a place does not necessitate any virtue for it on account of which the place should be sought out and be taken as a place of prayer – by consensus of the Muslims. This and its like are only practiced by the people of the Book.” (Iqtidaa as-Siraat al-Mustaqeem 2/163-164)

 

[22] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no.3445)

 

[23] Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “And from the greatest stratagems of Satan is that he appoints a grave of an esteemed one that the people venerate, then he turns it into an idol that is worshipped besides Allaah, then he inspires to his allies that: whoever forbids worshipping it and taking it as a place of congregational festival of celebration and making it an idol, then he has indeed diminished him and has done an injustice to him in regard to his right. So if the person of Tawheed forbids that, the polytheists become angered and their hearts are filled with disgust and they say: ‘He has diminished the people of elevated rank and has claimed that they have no inviolability and no value.’ So he pervades that into the souls of the ignoramus’s and the common people as well as many of those that attribute themselves to knowledge and religion, such that they turn to hostility against the people of Tawheed and level accusations at them of terrible things and warn the people against them and form alliance with the people of shirk and seek to venerate them whilst they claim that they are the very Awliyaa of Allaah and the helpers of His religion and His Messenger!” (Ighaathatul Lahfaan 1/384 – with abridgement.)

 

[24] Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: “From the people are those that went to excess in regard to him (i.e. The Prophet [sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam]), and disobeyed his command, so he disbelieved with that which he came with and became free of him whilst he assumed that he was following him. Just as the Christians assumed that they were following the Messiah by their going to excess in regard to him, and so they disbelieved in him and became free of him. So from the people are those who believe in regard to the Messenger that which the Christians believe in regard to ‘Eesaa (Jesus) – such that they manifestly say that he is Allaah, and that he knows all that which Allaah Knows and has power over everything that Allaah has power over, and this was said to me by more than one of these people.” (Qaa’idah al-‘Adheemah p.91)

 

[25] Shaikh Sulaimaan (rahimahullaah) mentioned in relation to this: “You have seen that the reason for the worship of Al-Laat was due to exaggeration in regard to his grave; such that it became an idol that was worshipped, just as that was the reason for the worship of the righteous: Wadd and Suwaa’ and Yaghuth and Ya’ooq and Nasr and other than them. Just as that is the very reason for the worship of the righteous from the dead and other than them today, for indeed they went to exaggeration in regard to them and built domed structures and shrines over their graves.” (Tayseer Al-‘Azeez Al-Hameed 1/700)

 

[26] Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “If there was any virtue for supplication beside the graves and prayer beside them and seeking blessing by way of them, then the Muhaajiroon and the Ansaar would surely have erected this grave (meaning the grave of the Prophet) out of knowledge of that and would have called him beside it.” (Ighaathatul Lahfaan 1/369)

 

[27] Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: “Many of these people – rather most of them, their confidence in that which they are upon from shirk and innovation is not upon the basis of the Book and the Sunnah and the consensus of the Ummah. Rather it is upon that which they see and hear from extraordinary phenomena, some of them being true and some of them being false, and some of them are fantasies within their own selves. From them are those who hear speech and oration beside the one that he commits shirk with, either the idol or the grave or the statue, and from them are those who see the image of a person or other than a person, and from them are those who are informed of some affairs that are unseen, and from them are those who are granted some of his objectives and so he is given some of what he wants from images or money or that some of those that show enmity to him are killed off. These affairs are from Satan, and they are from the classification of magic and soothsaying, yet many from amongst them will think that this is from the classification of miracles.” (Abridged from Qaa’idah ‘Adheemah p.152)

 

[28] Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: “How many a shrine there are that are venerated by the people – and yet it is false, rather it is said that it is the grave of a disbeliever, such as the case of the shrine located at the foot of Mount Lebanon that is said to be the grave of Nooh, yet the people of understanding state that it is the grave of some tall men. Likewise the shrine of Al-Hussain located in Cairo and the grave of Ubay bin Ka’ab located in Damascus, the scholars are in agreement upon the fact that it is false, and from them are those who say that they are both graves of two Christians, and many of the shrines are disputed over.” (Al-Istighaathah fee ar-Radd ‘alal Bakree 2/503-506)

 

[29] Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: “These ones who make visitation with the visit of the people of shirk and innovation, they are the ones who travel to their graves for that, and it is a Hajj for them, and Allaah, The Glorified, has forbidden that Hajj should be made to a house other than His.” Qaa’idah al-‘Adheemah p.74. He said likewise: “So the Muslim, his prayer and his sacrifice are for Allaah, and the polytheist prays to other than Allaah and sacrifices for other than Allaah and calls upon the creation and seeks deliverance by way of it and acts in humility to it as he (the Muslim) does with the Creator. He likewise makes Hajj to his grave as he (the Muslim) makes Hajj to the House of the Creator, and they call that (ceremonial) rites, and they author books that they entitle: The Rites of Hajj to the Shrines.” (Qaa’idah al-‘Adheemah p.68)

 

[30] Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: “From these people are those who call upon some of the stars or some of the deceased ones from the Prophets and the righteous or some of the Angels or some of the idols. So he sees an image; either the image of a human being or the image of other than a human being, so they see an array of images that speak to them and may fulfill some of their needs and so they say: ‘This is the spirituality of the star, or that it is the innermost sacrament of the Shaikh or his companion’ or the like of that, whilst that is only Satan leading them astray just as the devils used to mislead the idol worshippers astray and does so until this very day, and the devils would speak to them sometimes from the idols, and sometimes they would see them.” (Qaa’idah al-‘Adheemah p.138)

 

[31] Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar (rahimahullaah) said: “Extraordinary phenomena that exceed customary norms may occur for a Zindeeq (heretic) by way of transmission and a leading astray, just as it may occur for a Siddeeq (a truthful one being plentiful in truthfulness) by way of miracle and a mark of honour. The distinction between them is only by way of following the Book and the Sunnah.” (Fathul Baaree 14/327)

 

[32] Ighaathatul Lahfaan 1/342

 

[33] Zaadul Ma’aad 3/572 – with slight abridgment.

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