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Imam Abu Hanifah’s opinion on building mosques on graves

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Kitaab al-Aathar” of Imam Abu Hanifah (RA), from the narration of Imam Muhammad ibn Al-Hasan Ash-Shaybani (RA), as translated by Abdassamad Clarke, and published by Turath Publishing (UK):

“Muhammad said, “Abu Hanifah informed us from Hammad that Ibrahim said, ‘It used to be said that one should raise the grave so that it will be recognized as a grave and not stepped on.’

Muhammad said, “We adhere to this, but we do not think that anything should be added to what comes out of it (the soil which comes out of the grave), and we dislike it being plastered with gypsum or with clay, or that a mosque or any marker should be build by it or that anything should be written on it. It is disliked that it should be built with baked bricks or that they should be put in the interior of the grave. We see no harm in sprinkling water on it. That is the verdict of Abu Hanifah, may Allah, exalted is He, have mercy on him.”

What Clarke translated as “We dislike” (Yukrahu) means Makruh Tahrimi for Abu Hanifah, meaning dislike of forbiddance. If you are a true hanafi, if you really love Imam Aboo Haneefa (RA), please obey his fatwa: Don’t build graves, don’t build masjids on graves. Please see Ornate tombs and decorated graves for a brief history and practices on tombs and graves.

For an explanation of Surah Kahf verse 18 (“…We verily, shall build a place of worship over them”), and hadeeths related to tombs, please click Ruling on building mosques over graves

Background:

Imam Muhammad ibn Al-Hasan Ash-Shaybani (RA) was a student of Imam Abu Hanifa (RA). Imam Abu Hanifa (RA) was a Tabi’ i (Follower).

The Kitab al-Athar, according to its publishers, was the first book composed in Islam after the generation of the Companions. Al-Imam Abu Hanifa Numan ibn Thabit wrote it. It comprises Ahadith (hadeeths) that connect directly back to the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam (marfu), those which stop short at a Companion or one of the Followers (mawquf) and those which are attributed to the Messenger sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam directly by one of the Followers or Followers of the Followers without attribution to a Companion (mursal)

Clarification of Hanafi Scholars’ use of words:

Haram: This is something that is forbidden by Quran, or Hadith Mutawatir (narrated by such a large number of people that it is impossible that they have invented a lie) or Mashur (Mashhoor – narrated by three people or more at every level, but does not reach the condition of the mutawaatir).

Makruh Tahrimi: That is something that is like Haram in punishment. The only difference is that this forbiddance is established by Khabar Ahad (single narration). So for hanafis (Ahnaf), wearing gold and silk for men, doing Nikah of Tahlil (for the purpose of making woman legal to the first husband) are Makruh Tahrimi as they are forbidden by Khabar Ahad and not by Quran or Hadith Mutawatir.

Makruh Tanzihi: This is the forbiddance whose doer is not sinful, yet leaving this action will give reward, like eating and drinking standing or other actions.

Acknowledgment: The primary source for this post is “A gift for the Bralwiyah” by Ali Hassan Khan

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Written by S Ibrahim

Oct 20, 2012 at 8:00 pm

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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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

34. Magic

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Magic may be defined as “the art that purports to control or forecast natural events, effects, or forces by invoking the supernatural”, or  “The practice of using charms, spells, or rituals to attempt to produce supernatural effects or control events in nature”, or “The exercise of sleight of hand or conjuring for entertainment”

Two types of Magic

  1. Trickery: Sleight of hand (Card games, vanishing acts, rabit from a hat, etc). Much of the magic is of this type
  2. Working with evil Jinns (Shaytan): A few people around the world practice this. Since modern science denies anything supernatural, many deny this. Jinns, like human beings, have some power. Ganesh idols drinking milk, statues moving around, golden calf mooing etc can all be explained by this type

Westerners divide magic into White (good) and Black (Evil). From a Muslim’s perspective, it’s all the same: evil. The term Shihr makes no distinction between branches of magic (sorcery, witchcraft, divination, etc)

Magic and miracles may appear same. During Pharoah’s time, the magicians performed magic, when they threw the sticks that appeared as snakes. Moses (AS) did miracle, and the magicians realized it’s not magic. And so, they became Muslims. Ibn Thaymiah (RA) wrote a book “Differences between the Friends of Allah, and the friends of Shaytan”

Magic does exist, but they can’t harm without Allaah’s permission:

(Quran Chapter 2. Al Baqarah ayat 102)

They followed what the Shayaatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) In the lifetime of Sulaimaan (Solomon). Sulaimaan did not disbelieve, but the Shayaatin (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels, Haarût and Maarût, but neither of These two (angels) taught anyone (such things) till they had said, “We are Only for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us).” and from These (angels) people learn that by which they Cause separation between man and his wife, but they could not thus harm anyone except by Allaah’s leave. and they learn that which harms them and profits them not. and indeed they knew that the buyers of it (magic) would have no share in the Hereafter. and How bad indeed was that for which they sold their ownselves, if they but knew.

This verse tells us that Prophet Sulaiman wasn’t the one who taught magic (A refutation against Jews’ Cabala), that learning magic is an act of disbelief and haraam (forbidden), and that the learners of magic will be in Hell

Prophet (PBUH) was affected by the spell of a Jew Labeeb Ibn ‘Asam [al-Bayhaqi, Bukhari (7/660), Muslim (3/5428)]. But, that didn’t affect revelations. He became forgetful; he thought the objects that were closer were far away, and vice versa. Allah probably allowed this effect to teach us the magic exists, and that he is a human

Possession: A person, who commits sacrilegious acts, opens himself for Jinn to enter his body. Going beyond physical exercises in Yoga, contemplating in Temples, going to Chi “tasks” in Kung fu etc can open the doors for Jinn to enter. You can walk on burning coals; talk about far away people; etc. All these can happen with a contract with Jinn (You follow Jinn’s requests to commit shirk, and it performs your requests). Jinns can’t be controlled.

Islamic Ruling on Magic: If you learn the tricks (like “hand is faster than eyes”), only to explain and not to fool, then it is OK. All other magic is haraam. Magic was also prohibited in Torah, and here is the punishment

‘A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist (wizard) among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.’ (Leviticus 20:27)

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33. Astrology

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The Arabic term Tanjeem comes from Najm (Star), and it refers to the field of star and planetary calculations. The three categories of Tanjeem are

  1. Astrological Causation: Humans, animals etc are influenced by heavenly bodies / stars. This belief is a Shirk. Started at least in 3rd milleniem BC in Greek. Horoscope (your marriage will last because your zodiac is xxx and her sign is yyy) is an example
  2. Muslim version: Same thing as above, but they add “By the will of Allah”. A form of entertainment in royal courts started in later Umayyad caliphs – court astrologers. Other forms include comedians, dancing girls, Hanafi scholar Vs Shafi scholar debates (Maliki madhab was in Hijaz) for intellectual entertainment of king, and a prize for winning scholar. There is a difference between saying Insha Allah after making a weather forecast, and saying it after predicting something using Zodiac signs. A shirk doesn’t become Halal by saying Bismillah or Insha Allaah
  3. Astronomy: Using stars & planetary formations for directions (e.g: North Star), determine seasons (in earlier times). This is a legitimate use.

What is the proof that Astronomy (#3) is acceptable?

(Quran Chapter 6. Al An’am ayat 97)

It is He who has set the stars for you, so that you may guide your course with their help through the darkness of the land and the sea…

Astrology is a branch of fortunetelling, and is not to be confused with Astronomy. Astrology destroys Tawheed Asma was-sifat of Allah, because you give the attributes of Allah to humans (knowing future) or to heavenly bodies. Please see the previous posts for proofs. I don’t want to repeat the verses & Hadeeths in every post. Here is one that is explicit:

Hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas in which the Prophet(pbuh) said, “Whoever acquires knowledge of any branch of astrology, has acquired knowledge of a branch of magic.The more he increases in that knowledge, the more he increases in sin.” (Sunan Abu Dawood, Vol. 3,p. 1095,no. 3896)

Written by S Ibrahim

Feb 15, 2010 at 10:14 pm

32. Fortunetelling

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Fortunetelling has the same objective as charms & omens: Avoid evil, and bring good. There is an array of practices, which look different, but have the same bottom-line. Reading tea-leaves [Drinking tea is good for health, but don’t try to see your future after drinking it], horoscopes, crystal ball, palmistry/palm-reading, wish bone, randomly touching a verse of Quran [Reading Quran is good, but trying to know your future by touching a verse of Quran is Shirk too. The intention matters], Zodiacal signs, Bio-rhythm computer programs, I-Ching, etc

Two groups of practitioners:

1. Those that prey upon gullible masses. People will remember the 1 prediction that happened, and forget the 99 that didn’t happen. Everything you hear and see goes into subconscious, and when anything happens, it triggers that memory “Ah! He told me that”. Ask him “What else he said?”

2. Those who work with Jinn (Jinn are a creation of Allah which co-exists with man on the earth and may have occult powers): They can tell the fortune teller about your family, public info etc. Your Qareen Jinn will feed info to these fortunetellers

Islam opposes any form of association with those who practice fortunetelling.

Prophet said “The Salaah (daily prayer) of whoever approaches a fortuneteller and asks him about anything will not be accepted for forty days and nights” [Saheeh Muslim vol.4. Saiyah reported from Hafsah]

The punishment in this hadith is simply for approaching the asking the astrologer, even if one does it for fun.

Various forms of approaching a fortuneteller: Physical visit, read the books and writings of fortunetellers in papers/magazines, listen to them on radio, watch them on television, browsing them on the Web etc. Don’t even do it for fun or curiosity.

Belief in Fortune Tellers makes a Muslim a disbeliever.  Prophet said, “Whoever approaches an oracle or fortuneteller and believes what he says, he has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad.’ [Sunan Abu Dawood vol.3, Ahmad and al-Bayhaqi. Narrators: Abu Hurayrah & al-Hasan]

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