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Archive for March 2010

52. Seeing the Prophet Muhammad

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Long after the death of Prophet Muhammad (May Allah bless him & give him peace), some people claim to have seen the Prophet Muhammad in their dreams (Category #1), and some say they met him in person (Category #2)

Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “He who saw me in a dream has certainly seen me, for Shaytan can not take my form” [Sahih al-Bukhari Vol 9  & Sahih Muslim Vol 4]

  • The hadeeth indicates that Satan can enter the dreams of human beings in various forms and invite them to misguidance
  • The hadeeth states that Satan cannot take the actual form or appearance of the Prophet (pbuh)
  • The hadeeth also confirms the fact that the Prophet’s (pbuh) form may be seen in dreams

Category #2: This hadeeth rejects the claim of those who say they saw him in waking state. This is heretical.

Category #1: It is true that Shaytan/Satan can’t take the form of Prophet, but it is possible for Satan to appear in the dreams of those unfamiliar with the Prophet’s (pbuh) appearance, and claim that he is Allah’s messenger. If you haven’t seen prophet when he lived, how can you be sure that it is really him, and not Satan?

Since the Prophet (pbuh) made the above statement about dreams to his companions, who were familiar with his appearance, it means that if one who knows EXACTLY WHAT THE PROPHET (PBUH) LOOKS LIKE, sees something fitting that description in a dream, he can be sure that Allah has blessed him with a vision of the Prophet (pbuh) [Imaam an Nawawee quotes al-Qaadee expressing this opinion. See Sahih Muslim Sharh an Nawawee vol. 8 p30].

After quoting the hadith on seeing the Prophet (pbuh) in a dream, Ibn Seereen was reported in Sahih al Bukhari as saying: “Only if he sees the Prophet (pbuh) in his actual form” [Bukhari vol.9, Number 122, Abu Dawood vol. 3]

Kulayb reported that once he told Ibn Abbas that he had seen the Prophet (pbuh) in a dream and Ibn Abbas asked him to describe whom he saw. When he mentioned that the figure looked like al Hasan ibn Alee, Ibn Abbas told him that he had in fact seen the Prophet (pbuh) [Fath al Baaree vol. 12]

There are a number of individuals who claim that they have seen the Prophet in dreams, and received special guidance from him.The religious innovations based on dreams are countless. Since the sharia (Islamic law) is complete, the claim that the Prophet (pbuh) has come in dreams with new additions must be false. Such a claim implies one of two things:

  • Either the Prophet (pbuh) did not fulfil his mission in his lifetime [he forgot to tell to the Sahabas and he is telling that to you now?], or
  • Allah was not aware of the future of the ummah, thus did not prescribe the necessary injunctions during the Prophet’s (pbuh) lifetime.

Both of these implications are expressions of disbelief which contradict the basic principles of Islam, i.e. the Prophet (pbuh) fulfilled his mission in his lifetime and Allah knows the future.

There are also claims on seeing Moosa, Eesa, Umar etc, Satan can take their form. Quite a lot of innovations originate from stories of dreams. Shariah is not based on people’s dreams. Shariah has completed. What does “perfected” mean, if it is not “Completed”? Allah says

(Quran Chapter 5. Al Maa-idah ayat 3)

… This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion…

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51. Can Allah be seen? Does God have an image?

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Does God have an image? How can we worship God without an image or idol?

Any image we create is a reflection of creation, even if it’s a mixed image. e.g.: Unicorn doesn’t exist, but all of its parts exist. Images of Gods are distorted: In Sri Lanka, Buddha looks like a Sinhalese, in Cambodia – a Cambodian, in Japan – Japanese. So, who is he? Hindu Gods look Indian. People create God in their image. Jews didn’t make images of God, because of clear commands against image making. Synagogues have no images, but their texts refer God with human weakness. Islam rejects all these.

Muslims believe that one can know/understand Allah thru His attributes. This understanding of attributes is enough for a Muslim. We don’t need pictures.

(Quran Chapter 42. Shoora ayat 11)

… There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer

Can Allah be seen? Did Prophet Muhammad see Allah during Mi’raj?

No human, including prophets could see Allah. Here are two Quranic verses.

(Quran Chapter 7. Al A’raaf ayat 143)

And when Moosa (Moses) came at the time and place appointed by us, and his Lord spoke to him, He said: “O My Lord! Show me (Yourself), that I may look upon You.” Allaah said: “You cannot see Me, but look upon the mountain if it stands still In its place Then You shall see me.” so when his Lord appeared to the mountain , He made it collapse to dust, and Mûsa (Moses) fell down unconscious. Then when He recovered his senses He said: “Glory be to you, I turn to You In repentance and I am the first of the believers.”

(Quran Chapter 6. Al An’am ayat 103)

No vision can grasp Him, but his grasp is over all vision…

And, three Hadeeths:

  1. Ayesha told Masrouq (a Tabioun): “…whoever tells you that Muhammad saw his Lord has lied” (Sahih Muslim 1/337, 1/339)
  2. Abu Dharr asked the Prophet if he saw his Lord during Miraj, Prophet replied: “There was only light, how could I see Him?” (Sahih Muslim 1/341). This phrase “how could I” implies he didn’t see Allah.  Please see the next hadeeth for an explanation of “There was only light”.
  3. Aboo Musa Ash’aree narrated from Prophet: “Surely, God does not sleep nor is it befitting for Him to sleep.  He is the one who lowers the scales and raises them.  The deeds of the night go up to Him before the deeds of the day and those of the day before those of the night, and His veil is light” (Sahih Muslim 1/343)

In the Hereafter, Muslims can see Allah

(Quran Chapter 75. Al Qiyaamah ayat 22-23)

Some faces that Day shall be Naadirah (shining and radiant). Looking at their Lord (Allaah);

Narrated Abu Huraira: The people said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Shall we see our Lord on the Day of Resurrection?” He replied, “Do you have any doubt in seeing the full moon on a clear (not cloudy) night?” They replied, “No, O Allah’s Apostle!” He said, “Do you have any doubt in seeing the sun when there are no clouds?” They replied in the negative. He said, “You will see Allah (your Lord) in the same way…[Sahih Bukharee 9/532].

Note: Prophet is referring only to the ability to see Moon, not comparing Allah to Moon. Also, Allah’s veil is light, not Him. Some crooked minds will twist these things and say Allah is like moon (or Sun).

Here is a final proof: Ibn ‘Umar narrates the Prophet said: “The Day Of Resurrection is the first day any eye will look at Allah, the All-Great and All-Glorious” [Collected by Daraqutni & Darimi]

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Written by S Ibrahim

Mar 13, 2010 at 10:33 pm

50. Transcendence. Or, is God everywhere?

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Allaah has described Himself in His revealed books and through His prophets in order that we may have a better understanding of just who He is. Since the human mind is limited in its knowledge and scope, it is impossible for it to understand something which has no limits. Therefore, Allaah revealed some of His attribute, in order that mankind may not confuse the attributes of created things with those of creator (Allaah)

History: So, don’t try to understand Him thru His creations. When the concept of God is distorted, people take creations as God-incarnate. One of the oft-quoted phrase about God is “Allah is everywhere”.  In the “Golden Age” of Abbasid era, when the philosophical books from India, Greece, and Persia were translated, this idea of Allah being everywhere (Omnipresent) was introduced in Islam.  And it became a foundational principle in the creed of Sufi (mystical) orders. It became popular with Mu‘tazilah (the Rationalists, Mutazilities) who occupied key posts in the administration of the ‘Abbaasid Caliph, Ma’moon (rule: 813 to 832 CE). So, the whole concept of ‘Allah is everywhere’ is a non-islamic concept.

Danger of the Immanence Concept: On the basis of the false attribute of divine immanence (i.e. the “God is everywhere” belief) some claimed that God was more in humans than in animals, etc. From that theory it was only a matter of time before some claimed that God was more in them than in the rest of humans. Among Muslim people, a deranged sufi / mystic and so-called saint, al-Hallaaj (858-992 CE), openly declared that he and Allaah were one [A.J. Arberry, Muslim Saints and Mystics]

The Nusayrites, a breakaway Shi‘ite sect of the tenth century, claimed that the Prophet’s son-in-law, ‘Alee ibn Abee Taalib, was manifestation of Allaah [Shorter Encyclopedia of Islaam]

Clear Proofs: There are a number of proofs based on the essential elements of the Islamic creed which have been used by orthodox Muslim scholars to establish the fact that Allaah is totally separate from, and above His creation. There are seven categories of proofs, but i’m just listing a few proofs from just two categories (Quranic & Hadeeth Proofs)

[Quran Chapter al-Ma‘aarij, 70:4]

The angels and the Spirit (Gabriel) ascend up to Him in a day whose length is like fifty thousand years

[Quran Chapter Faatir, 35:10]

Every good saying goes up to Him

[Quran Chapter an-Nahl, 16:102] Down from the Lord means He is above

Say, the Holy Spirit has brought it (the revelation) down from your Lord in truth, in order to strengthen those who believe, and as a guide and glad tidings to Muslims

Hadeeth Proofs:

Hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah in which he narrated that Allaah’s messenger said, “ (A group of) angels stay with you at night and (another group of) angels by daytime, and both groups gather at the time of ‘Asr (evening) and Fajr (dawn) prayers. Then those angels who have stayed with you overnight ascend (to Heaven) and Allaah asks them (about you) – though He knows all about you…” [Sahih al-Bukhari (Arabic-English), vol.9, pp.386-7, no.525),  Sahih Muslim (English Trans.), vol.1, pp.306-7, no.1320, and an-Nasaa’ee]

The narration about the Prophet’s wife Zaynab bint Jahsh who used to boast to the other wives of the Prophet (PBUH) that their families gave them away in marriage to the Prophet (PBUH) while Allaah from above the seven heavens gave her away in marriage. [Narrated by Anas and collected by al-Bukhaaree (Sahih Al-Bukhari (Arabic-English), vol.9, p.382, no.517]

Prophet (PBUH) taught the sick to pray for themselves “ Rabbanaa Allaah alladhee fis-Samaa’e Taqaddasasmuka. (Our Lord Allaah who is above the heavens, may Your name be Holy…) [Collected by Abu Daawood (Sunan Abu Dawud (English Trans.), vol.3, p.109, no.3883)]

Mu’aawiyah ibn al-Hakam said, “ I had a servant girl who used to tend to my sheep in the area of Mount Uhud, near a place called al-Jawwaareeyah…. I said, ‘Oh Messenger of Allaah (r) couldn’t I free her?’ He replied, ‘Bring her to me’, so I brought her. He then asked her, ‘Where is Allaah?’ and she replied, ‘Above the sky.’ Then He asked her, ‘Who am I?’ and she replied, ‘You are Allaah’s Messenger.’ So he said, ‘Free her, for verily she is a true believer.’” [Collected byMuslim (Sahih Muslim (English Trans.), vol.1, pp.271-2, no.1094)]

Summary:
1. Allaah is completely separate from His creation.
2. Creation neither surrounds Him nor is above Him in any way.
3. He, Allaah is above all things.

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39. Using the dead as intercessors / intermediaries

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Note: This post, and many others are not specific to Muslim society. So, when you see “Grave worship” please don’t think that we are talking only about Muslims. Please don’t be offended. Not all the Muslims who visit the graves, worship the dead in grave.

Those who practice grave worship direct prayers to the dead in two ways. One way is using the dead as intercessors.

They pray to them in the way that Catholics use their priests in the confession of their sins. Catholics confess their sins to their priests and the priests ask God’s forgiveness for them. Thus, the priests act as middle-men between the people and God.
The pre-Islamic Arabs viewed their idols in a similar way. Allaah quoted the pagan Arabs as saying,

(Quran Chapter az-Zumar, 39:3)

We only worship them so that they may bring us closer to Allaah

Some grave worshippers among Muslims pray to the dead asking them to convey their requests to Allaah for the fulfillment of their needs. This practice is based on their belief that righteous dead people are not only closer to Allaah than they are, but also that they are capable of hearing any man’s request and fulfilling it, even after their death. Thus, the dead become idol intermediaries capable of doing favors for the living.

One of the reasons cited for using the intermediaries is “You can’t directly go to a Governor or a President. You go via someone who is known to them”

Answer:

1. You know Allah, and He knows you – better than those who are dead. He created you, and gives you food, shelter and peace. Also, those wordly intermediaries are appointed or approved. Did Allah declare anyone to be His assisstants or intermediary?

2. Is God like a human? Do you think Allah gets busy and He needs assisstants?

(Quran Chapter Yunus, 10:18)

They worship besides Allah that which neither harms them nor benefits them, saying: These are our intercessors with Allah. Say: Do you inform Allah of something He does not know in the heavens or on the earth? Exalted is He and high above what they associate with Him!

Question: Ok. But, prophet will intercede for us in the Hereafter. Why can’t he do that in this world?

Answer: Yes, the Prophet will be given the permission to intercede, which Ahl al-Sunnah firmly affirm. However, his intercession solely depends on Allah’s permission for him to intercede, and only for those whom the Prophet has been given the permission to intercede for. For example, Prophet can’t ask/intercede for his uncle Abu Talib. So, that intercession is not for everybody, and that intercession happens after Allah gives permission.

(Quran Chapter 19. Maryam ayat 87)

None shall have the power of intercession, but such a one as has received permission (or promise) from the Most Beneficent (Allah).

Now, tell me did Allah permit prophet to intercede while he was in his grave? Even some of the Prophets’ intercessions in this world were rejected by God. The intercession of Nuh (Nooh, Noah) was of no use for his son, or that of Ibrahim for his father, or that of Lut (Lot) for his people, or the Prophet Muhammad’s – SallAllahu ‘alaihi wa-sallam – prayer over the Munifiqin (hypocrites) and his seeking forgiveness for them

Ayat-ul-Kursi (Quran Chapter 2. Al Baqarah ayat 255)

Allaah! None has the Right to be worshipped but He, the ever living, the one who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber, nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth. Who is he that can intercede with Him except as He permits? He knows what happens to them (his creatures) in this world, and what will happen to them in the Hereafter. And they will never compass anything of his knowledge except that which He wills. His Kursî extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. And He is the Most High, the Most Great

38. Ornate tombs and decorated graves

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Throughout much of human history, honoring the dead through elaborate burial rites, ornate tombs and decorated graves, along with festivals of commemoration and adoration has led to great confusion and misguidance in religion. As a result, much of mankind has become involved in some form of grave worship. In fact, the religion of most Chinese, who represent atleast 1/4th of mankind, is ancestor worship. Most of their religious rites are connected with graves and the worship of representations of their ancestors (Pai Tsu)

The graves of holy or saintly men among Hindus, Buddhists and Christians, have become shrines where rites of worship like prayer, sacrifice and pilgrimage are performed on a large scale. With the passage of time, Muslim rulers and the masses strayed away from the fundamental principles of the Islamic creed and began to imitate the pagan practices of the non-Islamic nations around them.

Huge edifices were built over the grave of companions of the Prophet (r) like ‘Alee (Ali), major jurists like Imaam Abu Haneefah and Imaam ash-Shaafi‘ee (Shafi) , and those designated as Sufi “saints” like Junayd and ‘Abdul-Qaadir Al-Jeelaanee (Jailani). In more recent times this practice of building shrines included even the graves of leaders of social movements like Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.

Today many Muslims travel vast distances in order to perform religious rites of tawaaf around these tombs. Some even make prayer inside and outside of them, and other ‘piously’ bring sacrificial animals to these sites in order to perform the rites of dhabh (ritual sacrifice) there. Most of those who perform rites of worship at graves hold the false belief that the righteous among these dead people are so close to Allaah that all acts of worship done in their vicinity will more likely be accepted by Allaah than if they were done elsewhere. That is, since these dead individuals were blessed, all that is near them must also be blessed. Their tombs and even the land on which they are built must be permeated with the overflow of their surplus blessing.

Because of this belief, grave-worshippers often wipe the walls of graves, then wipe it on themselves in order to collect extra blessings. Often they collect the earth in the vicinity of the graves, in the vain belief that the earth has special healing powers due to the effect of the blessings manifest in those buried there. Many among certain branches of the Shi‘ites (Shias) collect clay from Karbala, where Imaam Hussain was martyred, and bake them to make small tablets on which they prostrate during their salaah (prayer).

Throughout much of human history, honoring the dead through elaborate burial
rites, ornate tombs and decorated graves, along with festivals of commemoration
and adoration has led to great confusion and misguidance in religion. As a result,
much of mankind has become involved in some form of grave worship. In fact,
the religion of most Chinese, who represent between a quarter and a third of
mankind, is ancestor worship. Most of their religious rites are connected with
graves and the worship of representations of their ancestors.60 The graves of holy
or saintly men among Hindus, Buddhists and Christians, have become shrines
where rites of worship like prayer, sacrifice and pilgrimage are performed on a
large scale. With the passage of time, Muslim rulers and the masses strayed away
from the fundamental principles of the Islamic creed and began to imitate the
pagan practices of the non-Islamic nations around them. Huge edifices were built
over the grave of companions of the Prophet (r) like ‘Alee, major jurists like
Imaam Abu Haneefah and Imaam ash-Shaafi‘ee, and those designated as Sufi
“saints” like Junayd and ‘Abdul-Qaadir Al-Jeelaanee. In more recent times this
practice of building shrines included even the graves of leaders of social
movements like Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, and Muhammad
Ahmed, the so-called Mahdi of the Sudan. Today many ignorant Muslims travel
vast distances in order to perform religious rites of tawaaf around these tombs.
Some even make prayer inside and outside of them, and other ‘piously’ bring
sacrificial animals to these cursed sites in order to perform the rites of dhabh
(ritual sacrifice) there. Most of those who perform rites of worship at
graves hold the false belief that the righteous among these dead people are so
close to Allaah that all acts of worship done in their vicinity will more likely be
accepted by Allaah than if they were done elsewhere. That is, since these dead
individuals were blessed, all that is near them must also be blessed. Their tombs
and even the land on which they are built must be permeated with the overflow of
their surplus blessing. Because of this belief, grave-worshippers often wipe the
walls of graves, then wipe it on themselves in order to collect extra blessings.
Often they collect the earth in the vicinity of the graves, in the vain belief that the
earth has special healing powers due to the effect of the blessings manifest in

Written by S Ibrahim

Mar 1, 2010 at 4:00 pm

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