24 - On the 416th page of his book he writes:
"Although Ibrahim an-Naha'i said that it was permissible to say, 'I trust in Allahu ta'ala and then in you,' this word is to be spoken to the one who is alive and present and who has the power of doing something and thus is causative. The dead do not feel or hear, neither are they able to help nor do harm. It is not suitable to speak in this way to the dead and the persons who are absent. It is not permissible to be bound to the dead in any way. This is explicitly stated in the Qur'an. Asking the dead for something or esteeming them by saying anything, or being bound to them by heart or by any deed, comes to mean to deify them, to take them as persons to be worshiped, and to make them gods."
With these nonsensical statements, he calumniates the Qur'an al-karim, too. The 'ulama' of Islam have answered these heretical writings with ayats and hadiths and have proved that the la-madhhabi have mistaken and have been dragging the youth to disasters by deceiving them. For example, Sayyid Dawud ibn Sulaiman (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala) wrote an invaluable book in Arabic, namely Al-minhat al-wahbiyya fi raddi 'l-Wahhabiyya. [First published in Bombay in 1305 A.H. A photostatic edition was produced in Istanbul in 1389 (1969); second impression in 1973 in Istanbul. The author, Sayyid Dawud ibn Sulaiman (born in Baghdad in 1222, died in Baghdad in 1299 A.H./1881), was the Khalifa of the profound alim and great wali of karamat Mawlana Diya ad-din Khalid al-Baghdadi (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala). For his biography see the entry 'Khalidi' in the dictionary Al-munjid.] This chapter is devoted to the following long translation from his work:
Nowadays, the number of those who depart from the itiqad (belief) and madhhabs of Ahl as-Sunnat has been increasing. These heretics call Muhammad's ('alaihi 's-salam) umma "mushriks." They say that they should kill this blessed umma and seize their possessions; thus, they topple down into disaster. By Allahu ta'ala's help, I have intended to refute the heretics with this booklet of mine and to prove the corruptness of their arguments. They might read, and perhaps understand that they are mistaken, and attain salvation. And I will have done a great service.
The la-madhhabi do not believe that one may make a request to Allahu ta'ala through the mediation and intercession of prophets ('alaihimu 's-salawatu wa 't-taslimat) and His pious awliya' (rahimahum-Allahu ta'ala), and that one may ask them to relieve him of troubles by using the power Allahu ta'ala has given them as a karamat, and that one may visit their graves and ask them to intercede for him so that Allahu ta'ala may give him his wish or relieve him of troubles. To them, men do not hear or see after death; they become soil. They say that there is no such thing as grave-life. They do not believe that the dead can be recourses in some way as the living people are made mediators for attaining something in this world. They would not make such a denial if they believed that the dead are alive with a kind of life called the life-in-the-grave, that is, being alive with this life, they know, hear, see and recognize visitors and answer the ones who greet them, that they visit one another, that they are in blessings or tortures, that favors or tortures come both to the soul and to the body, that they are informed of the deeds of the living people they knew when they were alive, that they thank Allahu ta'ala, give good news to one another and pray for those who do good deeds when they are informed of the good deeds of the living people, and that they pray saying, "Oh my Allah! May You make them do good deeds! May You grant them salvation as You have granted to us," when they hear about their bad deeds. Because, death is migration from one house to another. The Qur'an al-karim, the Hadith ash-Sharif and ijma' al-Umma teach these facts. He who does not believe in these will have not believed in the things which are wajib to be believed and, therefore, will become a man of bidat, departing from Rasulullah's (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) sunnat. Because it is one of the six principles of iman that men will rise alive from their graves on the Day of Resurrection to gather at the place of Mahshar, anyone who does not believe this becomes a kafir. Disbelief in the fact that the dead live in the grave and feel the favors and punishments, by unanimity of the al-Ummat al-Muhammadiyya, is a disbelief in the Minor Resurrection which is an example of the Resurrection.
The ignoramuses who do not believe in the torture in the grave say:
"Bodies rot and organs disappear in graves. They do not hear nor see. There is neither torture nor blessing for the body."
We say to them, "You, too, believe that the soul does not die. Therefore, you should believe that the soul feels, hears and sees, too. Hence, you should not oppose Muslims' expecting souls to be mediators by asking them for intercession and help for Allahu ta'ala to create. Because, all religions preach that the soul remains alive after death. You should not deny that living souls can be intermediaries or causes for Allahu ta'ala's creating, while you believe that living men can be." Because they have not been able to think on this subject open-mindedly, they say, "No help can be expected from the dead. He who awaits help from the souls of Allahu ta'ala's beloved servants and asks for their intercession for His creating of something becomes a disbeliever, a polytheist." [Ahizada Abdulhalim ibn Muhammad (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala), one of the distinguished 'ulama' who matured in the Ottoman State, proved with documents in his work As-sadat fi ithbati'l-karamati li'l-awliyai hala'l-hayat wa bada'l mamat that Allahu ta'ala gave karamat to awliya and that their karamat continued also after their death. He passed away in 1013 A.H. (1604). His commentary on Al-Marghinani's Al-Hidaya, supplement to Ashbah and annotations to Durar and Ghurar are very valuable. Sa'd ad-din at-Taftazani (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala), who passed away in Samarqand in 972 A.H. (1389), wrote in detail the karamat of awliya in his commentary to Al-aqaid an-Nasafiyya. Many 'ulama' wrote annotations to his commentary. One of them is the Arabic, Nabras, by Abd al-Aziz al-Farhari (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala) of India, who passed away there in 1239 A.H. (1824). And a very invaluable annotation of the latter is written by Muhammad Barhurdar al-Multani (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala), who said on page 476: "The strongest evidence which proves the soundness of karama is that karamat occurred on most of the Sahabat al-kiram. Dala'il an-nubuwwa by Imam Jafar al-Mustaghfiri an-Nasafi (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala), who passed away in 432 A.H. (1041), is one of the many books that report their karamat. Although those in the heretical path of the Mutazila denied karama, the 'ulama' of Ahl as-Sunna have given them detailed answers." It was reported recently that the government of Saudi Arabia has organized a head office of propaganda for the dissemination of Wahhabism all over the world and is spending millions of gold coins for this purpose every year. A few brainless people of bad race who might sell their religion and conscience play the broker's part for la-madhhabism, poison the youth and lead them to disasters for the sake of money. And there are many who do the same becasue they do not know Islam and, being deceived, have fallen into the current of reforming the religion. These ignorant people who introduce themselves as men of religious authority do not even recognize ayats and hadiths. They do not know the words of the as-Sahabat al-kiram and the Tabi'un. They are extremely ignorant. It is a sign of redoubled ignorance for them to think of themselves as 'ulama' after they have learnt a smattering of Arabic. Such people are not willing to read and learn and become men of knowledge. They have dived into sensuality and enjoyment with the money they are given. They have been living unaware of both the religion and worldly knowledge. The unlucky youth think of them to be men of religion and, the worst, to be 'ulama'. These men are those who gnaw and ruin Islam. It will be a great disaster if these so-called 'men of religious authority' come up to be the leaders of Muslims. Such ignoramuses write about images which occur to their empty heads as the teachings of Islam. They have gone astray and will lead others astray. The hadith ash-sharif in al-Bukhari's Sahih foretold that these people would increase.]
In the grave there are blessings or punishment both to the soul and to the body. It is necessary to believe this fact as stated. Imam Muhammad ibn Hasan ash-Shaibani [135-189 A.H. (805)] expressed this in his poem Al-aqa'id ash-Shaibaniyya: "There is torture in the grave. The torture in the grave will be both to the soul and to the body." That is, the blessing or torture will occur to the soul as well as to the body in the grave. Although the living cannot see, it is necessary to believe so. It is necessary to believe in ghaib (secret facts). Disbelief in this fact gives way to disbelief in the 'ba'th,' rising alive from the grave on the Day of Resurrection, because, both will happen by Allahu ta'ala's Power. It is logical for anyone who believes the latter to believe the former. Although men cannot comprehend the torture in the grave when they are alive, ayats and hadiths and the posterity of this umma taught that there is punishment in the grave. Below we shall write at length on this subject and note the hadiths which prove that it is permissible to ask Allahu ta'ala's beloved servants in graves to intercede and to be mediators for Allahu ta'ala's creating. When these documents are read and understood, it will be seen that, contrary to the slanders of the la-madhhabi, the dead do not do anything by themselves, that they are not asked to make anything. The la-madhhabi, seeing the living people move and work, think that the ones who ask them for help or intercession ask these very people to do work. Whereas, asking the living for anything is no more than asking them to be the intermediaries for Allahu ta'ala's creating. Allahu ta'ala is the only One who creates and makes everything. All the living and the dead, the living and nonliving things are the vehicles for His creating. He Himself has wished creatures to be causes or vehicles for His creating. He wishes to create many things through some intermediaries so that the world is in order and regular. Nevertheless, He creates many things without any intermediary, too.
Prophets ('alaihimu 's-salawatu wa 't-taslimat) and awliya' (rahimahum-Allahu ta'ala) are alive in their graves with the life called 'life-in-the-grave' that we do not know. They cannot do anything by themselves. Allahu ta'ala grants them sufficient power and value to be mediators. As He loves them, He shows honor to them and offers them favors outside His usual custom. He creates wishes for their sake. They are asked to be mediators for the wishes to be created. It is a lie of the la-madhhabi that Ahl as-Sunnat worship graves and become polytheists. It is slander against Muslims. A few ignorant people or irreligious men, to cheat innocent villagers and obtain worldly advantages, may do bad deeds that are discordant with Islam, and it is obvious that such zindiqs and heretics will spring up when Islamic knowledge and morale fade away in a country. Instead of defending la-madhhabism under such pretexts, it is necessary to correct the corruptions and not be destructive, but constructive. There are some people among Muslims who believe in the life, blessings and tortures in the grave yet disbelieve that prophets and awliya' will be mediators after death for Allahu ta'ala's creating. And there are others who say, "Why are solely the dead asked without considering Allahu ta'ala's creating? Asking for their intercession and attainment of wishes through them are not stated in Islam." Those who say so are not as harmful as those who do not believe in the life in the grave. They say so because they do not know the Qur'an al- Karim or the Hadith ash-Sharif, or just because they are obstinate. Muslims should not be obstinate but readily accept the right word. We shall present our answers in eight parts.
PART ONE. Prophets ('alaihimu 's-salatu wa 's-salam) are alive in their graves. Their being alive is not in the metaphorical sense [but in reality]. It was declared in the Qur'an al-karim: "Never regard those who have been killed in the way of Allah as dead! They are alive in Allah's view. They are nourished." (al 'Imran, 169) This ayat karima explains that martyrs are alive. Martyrs are like other Muslims and have no superiority over others. Prophets are, of course, higher and more superior than martyrs. The 'ulama' of Islam said that every prophet died a martyr, a fact which everybody knows. Although al-Halabi died a martyr, a fact which everybody knows. Although al-Halabi wrote in his book Siyar, "There may be a superiority in the one at a lower degree which may not exist in the one at a higher degree," this statement does not apply to this case, because it states a kind of superiority which is not stated clearly in an ayat karima or a hadith ash-Sharif. Since it is stated in hadiths that prophets are martyrs, al-Halabi's statement cannot be applicable to this case. The hadith ash-Sharif reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim states, "I was made to pass by Musa's ('alaihi 's-salam) grave on the Miraj night. He was performing salat standing up in his grave." It was declared in a hadith ash-Sharif reported by al-Baihaki and many others, "Prophets are alive in their graves. They perform salat." Another hadith ash-Sharif says, "Allahu ta'ala forbade the soil to rot prophets." This fact has been reported by the 'ulama' unanimously. It is written in the Sahihain of al-Bukhari and Muslim: "Allahu ta'ala sent all the prophets to our Prophet on the Miraj night. He became the imam, and they performed two rak'as of salat." The salat includes bowing (ruku') and prostration (sajda). And this shows that they performed salat corporally, with their bodies. Musa's ('alaihi 's-salam) performing salat in his grave also indicates this. It was declared in the hadith ash-Sharif quoted in the book Mishkat [Last volume, section on the Miraj chapter one.] on the authority of Muslim, "Near the Kaba, the disbelievers of the Quraish asked me how the Bait al-muqaddas was. I had not looked at it carefully. I become very stressful. Allahu ta'ala showed me. I saw myself among prophets. Musa ('alaihi 's-salam) was performing salat standing up. He was thin. His hair was not untidy or drooping. He was like a brave young man of the Shan'a tribe [of the Yaman]. 'Isa ('alaihi 's-salam) looked like Urwat ibn Masud as-Saqafi." These hadiths prove that prophets are alive in Allah's audience. Their bodies have become ethereal like their souls. They are not dense or solid. They may become visible in material and spiritual worlds. It is for this reason that prophets can be seen in soul and body. The hadith ash-Sharif explains that Musa and 'Isa ('alaihima 's-Salam) were performing salat, which involves physical actions that are to be done with the body, not with the soul. Muhammad's ('alaihi 's-salam) description of Musa ('alaihi 's-salam) with medium height, lean and thin, and with tidy hair shows that he saw not his soul bot his body. Prophets do not die like other human beings. They emigrate from the transitory world to the everlasting next world. Al-Imam al-Baihaki [d. Nishapur, 458 A.H. (1066)] wrote in his book Itiqad, "Prophets' souls are given back to their bodies after they are put into their graves. We cannot see them. They become invisible like angels. Only the distinguished people to whom Allahu ta'ala has bestowed it as a karama can see them." Al-Imam as-Suyuti said so, too. Also, al-Imam an-Nawawi, Imam Abu 'l-Hasan 'Ali as-Subki [d. Egypt, 756 A.H. (1355)] and al-Imam Muhammad al-Qurtubi [d. 671 A.H. (1272)] relate the same from their masters. Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya [d. 751 A.H. (1350)], a Hanbali alim, wrote exactly the same in his Kitab ar-ruh. The Shafi'i 'ulama' Ibn Hajar al-Haitami, Shams ad-din Muhammad ar-Ramli [d. 1004 A.H. (1596)] and Qadi Muhammad Zakariyya [d. Egypt, 926 A.H. (1520)]; the Hanafi scholars Akmal ad-din Muhammad al-Babartee [d. 786 A.H. (1384)] and ash-Sharnblali Hasan [d. Egypt, 1069 A.H. (1658)]; the Maliki scholars 'Abdullah Ibn Abi Jamra [d. 675 A.H. (1276)] and his disciple Muhammad ibn al-Haji al-Fasi [d. 737 A.H. (1337)] in his book Madkhal; and Ibrahim al-Laqani [d. 1041 A.H. (1632)] in the book Jawharat at-tawhid, and many other 'ulama' narrated the same. Said ibn Musayyab said, "The adhan and iqama were heard being recited in the al-Hujrat an-Nabawiyya when the adhan could not be called and salat could not be performed in Masjid an-Nabi," on the day when the men of Yazid tortured the people of al-Madinat al-munawwara -the 'Harra' event that took place in 61 A.H. Ibn Taymiyya [d. 728 A.H. (1328)], too, quoted this in his book Iqtida' as-sirati 'l-mustaqim. Many people have often heard greeting being answered from the Qabr as-Saada. Answers to greetings have been heard many times from other graves, too. We will deal with this later. It is understood that, according to the unanimity of the 'ulama', prophets are alive in their graves. It was declared in a hadith sahih, "When a person greets me, Allahu ta'ala sends my soul to my body and I hear his greeting." It cannot be said that this hadith ash-Sharif disagrees with the above-mentioned facts; that is, one cannot say that Rasulullah's (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) blessed soul has departed from his noble body and is given back to him when he is greeted. The 'ulama' have given various answers to those who said so. Al-Imam as-Suyuti (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih) listed seventeen of these explanations. The finest of them is that Rasulullah is in the ecstasy of seeing Jamal-Allah and forgetful of his bodily senses, and when a Muslim greets him, his blessed soul wakes up from this trance and acquires his bodily senses. Such situations are not scarce in this world, either. One does not hear what people say to him when he is in a deep thought of worldly or heavenly affairs. Can someone who is in the ecstasy of contemplating Jamal-Allah hear any sound?
Can one see Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) when one is asleep or awake? If he can be seen, is it him who is seen, or a vision similar to him? Our 'ulama' have given various answers to these questions. In addition to the unanimity that he is alive in his grave, most of them said that he himself was seen. This is also understood from hadiths. A hadith ash-Sharif declares, "The one who sees me in his dream sees me as he would see me when he is awake." This is why al-Imam an-Nawawi said, "Seeing him in a dream is really seeing him." As a matter of fact, it was declared, "Anyone who has seen me in his dream has seen me truly, for the devil cannot appear in my shape," in a hadith ash-Sharif reported in the book Kunuz ad-daqaiq by al-Imam al-Manawi on the authority of al-Bukhari and Muslim. We would not see him "truly" if we saw his likeness in a dream. In his book Jawharat at-tawhid, Ibrahim al-Laqani wrote, "It has been reported unanimously by the 'ulama' of hadith that Rasulullah can be seen both when one is awake and in one's dreams. However, it is not unanimous whether it is him who is seen or someone else who resembles him. Most of them said that he himself was seen. Al-Imam al-Ghazali and al-Qurafi and several other 'ulama' said that his likeness was seen. The ones who said the Prophet himself was seen are in the majority, including more than thirty imams of hadith and great 'ulama'. I have compiled the documents and proofs of each of them in a separate book.
PART TWO. As for the dead's hearing and seeing, it has been clearly stated in the Qur'an al- Karim that martyrs are alive in their graves. Awliya' hear and see through Allahu ta'ala's benevolence of karama. Allahu ta'ala creates things outside His usual custom and laws for the sake of His beloved servants. In order to silence the ignorant people who do not believe that prophets, especially the highest of them, Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam), martyrs and awliya' hear and see in their graves, we shall first explain that even dead disbelievers can hear and see. It was declared in a hadith ash-Sharif related by al-Bukhari, "The dead person hear the footsteps of the people walking away after a burial." A hadith ash-Sharif written in [the Sahihain of] al-Bukhari and Muslim narrates that the corpses of the disbelievers who were killed in the Battle of Badr were ordered to be put into a hollow a few days after the battle, and a few days later Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) came, stood by the hollow and said, "Have you attained what your Rabb promised you? I gained the victory my Rabb promised me," addressing each of them by their names and their fathers' names. Thereupon, Hadrat 'Umar (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh) asked, "Oh Rasul-Allah! Are you speaking to the people who have become carcasses?" and Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) answered, "I say by Allah, who has sent me as the true Prophet, that you do not hear me better than they do. But they cannot answer." It was declared in a hadith ash-Sharif related by al-Bukhari and Muslim, "The dead person suffers pain for his relatives' loud crying over his death." Al-Imam an-Nawawi, in his commentary of the Sahih of Muslim, says, "The dead feel pain and are offended by the loud cry of their relatives." Muhammad ibn Jarir at-Tabari [d. Baghdad, 310 A.H. (923)] said so, too. Qadi 'Iyad al-Maliki (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih) [d. Morocco, 544 A.H. (1150)] said that this was the best interpretation and noted that Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) prevented a woman from crying loudly over her son's death. "Oh Muslims! Do not offend your brothers in graves by crying loudly," he ordered. This hadith ash-Sharif shows that the dead hear and are offended and feel pain for their relatives' crying. Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) declared, "Say 'As-salamu 'alaikum' when you greet the ones in graves." This is why Muslims say, "As-salamu 'alaikum! Ya ahla dari 'l-qawmi 'l-Muminin." Obviously, such a greeting can be said to those who can hear and understand. If they did not hear, it would be a greeting for the nonexistent or stones. The Salaf, that is, the great 'ulama' of Islam, unanimously said that this is the way the dead should be greeted.
PART THREE. The dead recognize the people who visit them. Abu Bakr 'Abdullah ibn Abi 'd-dunya [d. Baghdad, 261 A.H. (894)] wrote in Kitab al-qubur: "Hadrat 'Aisha (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anha) reported the Prophet as saying, 'When a person visits the grave of his brother-in-Islam and sits by the grave, he recognizes him and replies to his greeting.' A hadith ash-Sharif narrated by Abu Huraira (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh) declares, 'If anyone visits the grave of an acquaintance of his and greets him, the dead person recognizes him and replies to him. If he greets a dead Muslim whom he does not know, the dead person replies to his greeting.' " Yusuf ibn 'Abd al-Barr [d. Shatiba, 463 A.H. (1071)] and 'Abd al-Haqq, the author of the book Ah'kam, said that this hadith ash-Sharif was sahih. Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya quoted this hadith ash-Sharif in Kitab ar-ruh and gave many other khabars and added that there were many more khabars to be written in this subject. The word 'ziyara' (visit) was used in the hadith ash-Sharif, which would not have been used if the dead had not recognized the person who came to the grave. In all languages and every dictionary, this word is defined as the meeting of people who know and understand one another. And the word "Salamun 'alaikum" is to be said to persons who will understand it. If a person performs salat near graves, the dead see him and understand that he is performing salat and admire him. Yazid ibn Harun as-Sulami [d. 206 A.H. (821)] narrated, "Ibn Sasab attended a funeral. He performed two rak'as of salat by a grave. Then he leaned against the grave. He swore by Allah that he was awake when he heard a voice from the grave which said, 'Do not hurt me! You worship. But you do not hear. You do not know. We know but cannot move. In my view, there is nothing more valuable than those two rak'as you performed.' The person in the grave had understood that Ibn Sasab performed salat and leaned against the grave." After writing the above event, Ibn al-Qayyim quotes many other khabars reported from as-Sahabat al-kiram proving that the dead heard. The la-madhhabi regard Ibn al-Qaiyyim as a mujtahid and praise him highly but do not believe the above-mentioned writings of his and still claim that those who believe so are polytheists. This behavior of theirs shows not that they respect the 'ulama' of Islam but that they praise them whenever it suits them and that they like none of the 'ulama'.
Hadrat 'Aisha (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anha) said that the disbelievers who were put into the hollow after the Battle of Badr did not hear. This is the reason why some people supposed that the dead, even if they were believers, did not hear in their graves. Some ignorant people said that martyrs, even Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam), would not hear. Those who did not believe that the dead heard were mistaken, because, 'Aisha (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anha) said that only those disbelievers in that hollow did not hear. They though that this hearing was in the sense as used in the twenty-second ayat al-karima of Surat al-Fatir, which says, "You cannot make the dead hear. You cannot make those in graves hear!" However, it was not in this sense; as the great 'ulama' explained, the word 'hear' in the ayat al-karima is used in the sense of 'accepting by hearing' or 'believing.' In such ayats, Allahu ta'ala likens the living disbelievers who have ears, eyes and brains to the dead in graves. This analogy is not in respect of hearing or understanding, but of apathy and stubbornness, that is, unwillingness and disbelieving. Willingness to believe is of no use to the disbeliever when he, in his last illness, begins to see his place in the next world. "Your call to belief to those who are decreed to be evildoers in eternity is of no use to them," Allahu ta'ala declared. Inviting such people to belief is of no use for them just as the belief of the people in graves who believe after they see the things which they should have believed without seeing. Such belief of the dead is not accepted. 'Hearing' in the ayat al-karima is used in the sense of 'accepting.' For example, when one says, "This woman is such that she does not hear any word," he means that she does not pay attention though she hears. In the two ayats which were sent down about disbelievers, 'hear' is in this sense. They are alive and have ears and eyes, but, because Allahu ta'ala made them evil and sealed their hearts, he says to his Prophet, "You cannot make them hear," that is, "They will not believe when you speak to them. They will not accept to believe just as the beliefs of disbelievers in graves are not accepted." It is stated in hadiths that the dead 'hear' -in a sense of hearing through ears. However, in the above-quoted two ayats, 'hear' is used to mean 'accept.' A reasonable person of sound thinking can distinguish between these two meanings of hearing, Allahu ta'ala, after he ayat al-karima, "You cannot make the dead hear," declares, "You can make only those who believe hear," thus informs that believers hear. From this statement, too, it is understood that 'hearing' in this context means 'accepting.' If one says that the statement 'You cannot make the dead hear,' means that they do not hear through ears, then it means that Allahu ta'ala informs that believers in graves hear, [that is, he has to take the second statement in the same sense, too,] and this is what we are trying to say. Since it is clearly stated in the Qur'an al-karim that dead believers to hear, no one can deny it. One has to believe it even if he does not believe the Hadith ash-Sharif which, for all Muslims, is the most sound source after the Qur'an al-karim.
Hadrat 'Aisha (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anha) said that only dead disbelievers did not hear, for, it was declared in a hadith ash-Sharif narrated by her, "When a person visits the grave of his brother-in-Islam and sits by the grave, he recognizes him and replies to his greeting," as we quoted above. This recognition and response of the dead person show that he sees the visitor and hears his greeting. Although 'Aisha (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anha) said that disbelievers did not hear, she said that they were able to know: another hadith ash-Sharif narrated by her states, "They now know that I told the truth." The 'ulama' declared that one could 'know' by 'hearing.' Therefore, there is no disagreement between these two words. Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya, ['Abd ar-Rahman] Ibn Rajab [al-Hanbali (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih), who passed away in Damascus in 795 A.H. (1393)] and as-Suyuti and many other 'ulama' said that it was as explained above. If 'death' meant 'becoming nonexistent' as some ignorant people say, all the senses of the dead would become nonexistent. The senses do not vanish as it is understood from the hadith ash-Sharif written in the Sahih of al-Bukhari and narrated by Hadrat 'Aisha and which says that the dead do know. In the hadiths narrated by other Sahabis, it is clearly expressed that the dead hear. Hadrat 'Aisha's thought that the word 'hear' meant [only] 'accept and believe' contradicts the consensus of the 'ulama'. The statement best reconciling her words and those of as-Sahabat al-kiram, then, is the hadith ash-Sharif about visiting graves which is also narrated by her.
Ibn al-Human wrote in Fat'h al-Qadir, his annotation of Al-hidaya: "The Hanafi 'ulama', commenting on 'oath,' said, 'The dead do not hear. If one who has sworn not to talk with somebody talks with that same person when the latter is dead, his oath will not be broken.' " However, it was said, "The words of the Hanafi 'ulama' on 'oath' are based on [linguistic] custom. These words do not show that the dead do not hear. The Hanafi 'ulama', in explaining the knowledge about 'oath,' say, 'If one swears not to eat meat but then eats fish, his oath will not be broken.' However, Allahu ta'ala said 'pleasant meat' for fish. But the flesh of fish is different from meat according to custom. Similarly, if a person swears not to talk with someone and talks to him after he dies, his oath will not be broken. Because 'talking' means 'talking face to face' according to custom. A dead person hears, but since he does not talk in a conventional audible way, the two will have not talked with each other according to custom. This is why his oath will not be broken." It does not mean that it is not broken because the dead person did not hear. Ibn al-Humam quoted Hadrat 'Aisha as saying "non-sahih" for the hadith ash-Sharif in which Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) talked to the disbelievers in the Badr hollow and swore that they heard not less than the living. Ibn al-Humam further writes that Hadrat 'Aisha had said that these words could not have been said by Rasulullah after Allahu ta'ala declared, "You cannot make the dead hear. You cannot make those in graves hear." However, this hadith ash-Sharif was related in consensus, so it seems impossible that Hadrat 'Aisha did not believe it. Besides, there is no contradiction between the hadith ash-Sharif and the ayat al-karima. 'The dead' in the ayat al-karima refers to disbelievers, and the negative of 'hear' means 'it is of no use to them' and not that they did not hear. The 171st ayat al-karima of Surat al-Baqara, "They are deaf, dumb, blind; they do not understand," is in this sense, too. That is, they have ears and eyes, but Allahu ta'ala declared that they were like the deaf and blind because they did not hear and see the Prophet as he called them to Islam and to the right path. Al-Imam al-Baidawi, in the interpretation of the Qur'anic verse, "You cannot make the dead hear,..." says, "They are like the ones who obstruct their ears from the right word. Allahu ta'ala bestows salvation of those whom He wishes by making them hear." Allahu ta'ala likens those who are obstinate in disbelieving to the dead. This ayat karima resembles the 56th of Surat al-Qasas: "You cannot lead those whom you love to belief. But Allah makes whomever He wishes attain belief." Ibn al-Humam further asserts: "Making the dead hear is peculiar solely to Rasulullah." To us, however, one must document a deduction that something is peculiar solely to Rasulullah. There is no such document for this. Neither Hadrat 'Umar's question nor the answer given to him allude to such a peculiarity. Although Ibn al-Humam said, "Talking to the dead disbelievers in Badr was like repeating a proverb," the answer to Hadrat 'Umar shows that it was not so. According to Ibn al-Humam, "The hadith ash-Sharif in Muslim's book which states that the dead will hear the footsteps of the people leaving the grave after the burial points to the fact that the dead hear and answer the questions of the angels only during this questioning, and that they will never hear after the questioning. Because, it is understood from the ayat al-karima that the dead do not hear. Allahu ta'ala, to mean that disbelievers did not hear, likened disbelievers to the dead." Our answer is that this argument contradicts itself. Because he who says that the dead hear just after burial should also believe that they always hear. No other alim said that the dead would not hear after the questioning. Moreover, the claim that they would hear for some certain time after burial disagrees also with the ayat al-karima.
According to the unanimity of the 'ulama' of. Ahl as-Sunnat, greeting the buried dead is a sunnat. Great alim 'Abd al-Latif Ibn Malak [d. Tire, Izmir, 801 A.H. (1399)] in his commentary to Masabih, explains the hadith ash-Sharif about greeting the dead and says, "This hadith ash-Sharif proves that those who say the dead cannot hear are mistaken. At the end of the following hadith about the 'fitna and questioning in the grave' which is quoted in the Sunan of Imam Ahmad [d. Baghdad, 241 A.H. (915)] and in that of Abu Dawud [Sulaiman as-Sijistani, d. Basra, 275 A.H. (888)], in Mustadrak by Hakim [Muhammad an-Nishapuri, d. Nishapur, 405 A.H. (1014)], in Al-musannaf by ['Abdullah Ibn Abi Shaiba [d. 235 A.H. (850)], in Adhab al-Qabr by [Abu Bakr Ahmad] al-Baihaki [d. Nishapur, 458 A.H. (1066), in the Musnad by [Abu Dawud Sulaiman] at-Tayalisi [al-Basri, d. 204 A.H. (818)], and in that by [Abu Muhammad] 'Abdu ibn Hamid [al-Kashi, d. 249 A.H. (863)], and in Az-zuhd by Hanad ibn as-Sirri [ad-Darimi, d. Kufa, 243 A.H. (857)] and which was reported with sahih chains listed by [Muhammad] Ibn Jarir [at-Tabari, d. Baghdad, 310 A.H. (923)] and [Abu Bakr Muhammad] Ibn Abi Khatan [an-Nishapuri, d. 320 A.H. (932)] and other 'ulama' on the authority of Bara' ibn 'Azib (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain), Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) said: 'A voice is heard saying "My servant tells the truth" about the dead Muslim. A heavenly covering is spread in the grave. He gets dressed with the clothes of Paradise. A door opens for him to Paradise. The odors of Paradise diffuse into the grave. The grave broadens as vast as he can see. A beautiful-faced, well-dressed figure comes in with pleasing odors. Asks he, "Who are you? Why is your face so auspicious?" and is responded, "I am your pious deeds." Upon hearing this, he says, "Oh my Rabb! May the Resurrection happen soon! Oh my Rabb, may the Resurrection come soon so that I may meet my household and property." ' The opposite -torture happens to dead disbelievers. This hadith ash-Sharif shows that the dead hear and see and speak and smell and understand and think and answer. All these happen after the interrogation in the grave. The 'ulama' unanimously stated it as such. The imams of hadith, such as al-Imam as-Suyuti, said that this hadith was mutawatir, that is, one of the most sound hadiths. This hadith shows that greeting the dead is like greeting living people and that the dead, too, hear."
The book Al-fatawa al-Hindiyya writes, "Al-Imam al-Azam Abu Hanifa was the one who reported that visiting graves was not forbidden. [The Wahhabite book, too, writes that visiting graves is permissible.] It is understood from Imam Muhammad's words that it is permissible also for women to visit graves." It is written in the book Tahzib, "Visiting graves is mustahab. Visiting the dead is like visiting them when they were alive, depending on the degree of relationship." The same is written in the book Khazanat al-Muftin. Shoes are taken off when visiting a grave; the dead person is faced, with one's back to the Kaba, and one says, "As-salamu 'alaikum ya ahl al-qubur! May Allahu ta'ala forgive you and us! You are our ancestors, and we are your descendants!" The book Ghara'ib writes so, too. Surat al-Mulk may be recited, loudly or quietly, in the graveyard. In the section on "the benefits of reciting the Qur'an by graves" of the book Zahira, it is written that other suras may be recited as well. As it is written in the fatwas of Qadi-Khan, he who wishes that the dead be pleased by hearing the Qur'an al-karim should read aloud, and he who has not such an intention can read quietly. Because, Allahu ta'ala hears the Qur'an al-karim however it is recited. The book Bazaziyya says, "It is makruh to pick up the green grass in a graveyard, because all its leaves are busy with tasbih (proclaiming the glory of Allah). These tasbihs help the dead in getting redeemed from torture. The dead feel better with these tasbihs." The same is written in ash-Sharnblali's Imdad al-fitah and in many books of other Hanafi 'ulama'. In view of the fact that the dead hear the tasbih of the grass which cannot be heard by living people, which was declared by such great 'ulama' who had become the authorities to issue fatwas, how can it be claimed that they cannot hear the voice of a man talking to them? Those who said that the dead do not hear probably meant that they did not hear as one hears through the ear in this world. With this measure, the statements made in books of fiqh on the subject of "oath" can be brought into agreement with one another, and also Rasulullah's (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) hadith is believed and thus unanimity among the 'ulama' results. If someone says, "Al-Imam al-Azam Abu Hanifa (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih), who was a madhhab leader, did not believe this," we answer that this great imam, too, like other madhhab imams, declared, "My madhhab is based on sahih hadiths." In fact, he went so far in obeying Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) that he took the mursal even daif- hadiths as documents in his madhhab. Can it ever be thought of such an imam that he would disobey sahih hadiths? It is understood here once more that a few 'ulama', by saying that the dead do not hear, meant that they do not hear as one hears in this world. Because, it is not permissible for any alim to follow someone else's word leaving a sahih hadith aside.
According to the unanimity of the Hanafi 'ulama', visiting the graves of Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) and his two companions [Abu Bakr and 'Umar (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anhuma)] in his shrine, greeting them and asking for their intercession are sunnat. If the 'ulama' had not believed that Rasulullah and his two companions heard, their words would have disagreed and even they would have contradicted their own declaration that it is sunnat to visit any grave. There is no disagreement left as their remarks on the subject of "oath" are taken to be made for the hearing of living people in this world.
Supplement: Ibn Taymiyya wrote in his book Kitab al-intisar fi 'l-Imam al-Ahmad, "It is not a guilt for Hadrat 'Aisha not to believe that the disbelievers thrown into the hollow in Badr heard Rasulullah, because she had not heard the hadith ash-Sharif. However, it is a guilt for others not to believe, because this hadith ash-Sharif spread so wide that it became one of those Islamic beliefs that must be believed absolutely." These words of Ibn Taymiyya proves that those who will not believe that the unbelievers in the Badr hollow heard will become unbelievers, because it is written in books of all the madhhabs that he who does not believe something which is to be believed absolutely in Islam becomes an unbeliever. Few 'ulama', including Hadrat 'Aisha (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anha), who said that the dead do not hear, in fact meant that dead disbelievers in graves would not hear. But there has not been any alim who has not believed that Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) and the martyrs and awliya' of his umma hear in their graves. Hadrat 'Aisha and others, too, believed this fact. One can imagine how bad and ugly is the assertion of the upstart la-madhhabi and some ignorant people deceived by them that the dead, even including Rasulullah, do not hear. Allahu ta'ala, who is Qahhar (the Subduer), will no doubt punish these ignoramuses and heretics. In his fatwas on "bringing the dead back to life," Ibn Taymiyya asks, "Do the dead recognize the people who visit them? If someone, whom they knew or did not know, comes to their graves, do the dead understand that a visitor came?" and answers: "Yes, they recognize and understand." He further writes the narrations about the dead meeting and asking about one another and about the deeds of living people being shown to them. 'Abdullah Ibn al-Mubarak reported, on the authority of Hadrat Khalid ibn Zaid Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, [Halid ibn Zaid (radi-Allahu ta'ala anh) died of dysentry as one of the soldiers commanded by Sufyan ibn Awf, who besieged Constantinople (Istanbul) in 49 A.H. (670). His shrine at the location called "Eyyub" in Istanbul is magnificient; visitors make tawassul of his soul.] the hadith ash-Sharif which says, "An angel of blessings takes the soul of a believer as he dies. The dead gather around him like those who want to hear good news in this world. They start asking him questions, while a few of them say, 'Leave your brother alone so that he may rest! He comes from a very embarrassing place.' They crowd around him. They ask about their acquaintances in this world. 'What does so and so do?' 'Has so and so gotten married!' they ask."
Allahu ta'ala declares that martyrs are alive and are given provisions (rizq). It is reported in a hadith ash-Sharif that the souls of martyrs have entered Paradise. Although a few 'ulama' said that these blessings were for martyrs only but not for Siddiqs, what our imams and the 'ulama' of Ahl as-Sunnat said is true: being alive, blessings and souls' entering Paradise are not peculiar only to martyrs. They declared that this fact was deduced from ayats and hadiths. The reason why these were said only about martyrs is that Muslims, thinking that martyrs would become annihilated as they died, would hesitate in participating in jihad. It is for the purpose of removing the doubt which would prevent Muslims from going on jihad and being martyred. The 31st ayat al-karima of Surat al-Isra, "Do not kill your children for fear of poverty!" [Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab misused this ayat for forbidding visiting graves.] is in this same sense. Although it is not permissible to kill even when there is no fear of poverty, the ayat al-karima was revealed at a time of particular events when many children were killed for fear of poverty.
Thus far, we conveyed the documents from Ahmad Ibn Taymiyya al-Harrani's book. The Wahhabis say that they follow Ibn Taymiyya and that he is a prominent alim. They call him "Shaikh al-Islam." Whereas they do not accept his books and ideas. He says that all the dead, like martyrs, are alive and are given blessings. How can one believe those who claim to follow him while they disapprove his words and regard the people who approve his words as unbelievers and polytheists? These idiots who say that Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) does not hear, see, know or recognize those who visit and entreat him, in fact, follow neither Ibn Taymiyya nor anybody, but their own nafs and desires. May Allahu ta'ala give wisdom to them and show them the right path! Amin!
One of the proofs documenting that the dead see the living is the hadith ash-Sharif, "Every dead person is shown his [future] place in the next world every morning and every evening. The one who deserves Paradise is shown his place in Paradise, and the one who deserves Hell is shown his place in Hell," which is related by al-Bukhari. The word 'shown' means that they see. "They" declared Allahu ta'ala, referring to the people of Pharaoh, "are shown the fire every morning and evening!" 'Shown' would mean nothing if the dead did not see. Abu Nuaym related on the authority of 'Amr ibn Dinar, "An angel holds the soul when a person dies. The soul watches the body being washed and shrouded. 'Hear how men praise you,' he is told." A hadith ash-Sharif narrated on the authority of 'Amr ibn Dinar by Ibn Abi 'd-dunya declares: "A person knows what happens to his household after his death. He looks at those who wash and shroud him." The hadith sahih quoted by al-Bukhari declares: "The angels munkar and nakir, after questioning, say, 'look at your place in Hell! Allahu ta'ala changed it and granted you a place in Paradise.' He looks and sees both of them."
A hadith ash-Sharif quoted by Ibn Abi 'd-dunya and by al-Baihaki in Shu'ab al-iman on the authority of Abu Huraira (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anhum) declares, "When a person comes near the grave of an acquaintance of his and greets, the dead person recognizes and greets him. If he comes near the grave of a person he does not know and greets, the dead person answers him." This hadith ash-Sharif, too, indicates that the dead see the person who visits or stands by their graves. If they did not see, it would not have been noted in the hadith ash-Sharif that a dead person answers the greeting of someone whom he did not know before death. The former recognizes and answers; the latter does not know but still answers the greeting.
Imam Ahmad and Hakim reported Hadrat 'Aisha (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anha) as saying, "When I used to go in my room after my husband and father were buried there, I would take off my overcoat. I never took it off after Hadrat 'Umar (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh) was buried. Because, he was not my near kin. I was restrained by my sense of modesty because he was there." It was declared in a hadith ash-Sharif quoted in the book Arbain at-ta'iyya, "A dead person is pleased when a person whom he loved in this world visits him." This hadith ash-Sharif affirms that the dead person sees the visitor. He would not recognize or be pleased if he did not see. 'Amr ibn al-As (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh) is quoted in the Sahih of Muslim as saying just before his death: "Throw soil on me when you bury me! Then, stay by my grave for the amount of time that it would take to slaughter an animal and cut it into pieces. Seeing you around, I may get used to my grave and thus answer easily the questioning angels sent by my Rabb." There are many such reliable narrations about the fact that the dead hear and see in their graves. We have quoted as many as necessary. I think there is no need to write any more.
We have written above that the deeds of the living people are shown to the dead. They would not be shown the deeds if they did not have any sense of sight. Because, as it is understood, 'they are shown the deeds' means that they are shown the things recorded by the kiraman katibin angels on either shoulder. And this shows that the dead see. We, therefore, after explaining the fact that the dead see, deemed it proper to note the hadiths documenting that the deeds of the living people are shown to the dead.
Ignoramuses do not understand these teachings. It is because they have not heard Rasulullah's (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) sunnat and hadiths about this subject. These men, who take themselves to be scholars, are so ignorant and so stupid that they ask, "How do prophets and awliya' know those who visit heir graves and ask for intercession and entreat them?" We say, "Many things were made known to those great men when they were alive. Why should they not be made known after they die?" Or, we may say, "They hear and know by Allahu ta'ala's grace and benevolence outside of His usual custom." It was told in hadiths that the deeds of living people were shown to the dead. We have quoted these hadiths for the ones who do not believe it. If a person who reads but does not understand these hadiths says, "The dead know and hear only the people whom they have known in this world," we say, "The hadiths do not differentiate acquaintances from strangers." The la-madhhabi behave stubbornly. They will not believe until they die and all these things befall them.
There are a great many hadiths which state that the deeds of the Umma are shown to Rasulullah. The hadith ash-Sharif transmitted by Bazaz from reliable narrators and on the authority of Hadrat 'Abdullah ibn Masud declares: "My life is beneficial for you; you will tell it to me, and I will tell it to you. [The time after] my death, too, will be beneficial for you after I die; your deeds will be shown to me. I thank Allahu ta'ala when I see your good deeds. And I ask for forgiveness and absolute remission for you when I see your bad deeds." This hadith ash-Sharif was reported with the affirmation, 'I heard Rasulullah say...' Some other trustworthy narrators transmitted this hadith as "mursal." As for the hadith ash-Sharif which states that one's deeds and actions are shown to one's acquaintances, it declares, "Your deeds are made known to your dead relatives and acquaintances. They become happy when they see your good deeds. Upon seeing your bad deeds, they say, 'Oh our Rabb! Help this brother attain the right path as You have made us attain it. [Only] after that may You take his soul.' " This hadith ash-Sharif was quoted by Imam Ahmad, by al-Hakim at-Tirmidhi in Nawadir al-usul and by well-known hadith scholar Muhammad ibn Ishaq Ibn Manda. As great hadith scholar Sulaiman Abu Dawud at-Tayalisi reported in his Musnad, on the authority of Jabir ibn 'Abdullah, the Prophet said: "Your deeds are shown to your dead relatives and acquaintances. They become happy if your deeds are good. If they are not good, they say, 'Oh our Rabb! Inspire their hearts with good deeds." Ibn Abi Shaiba, in his book Al-musannaf, and al-Hakim at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Abi'd-dunya narrate, on the authority of Ibrahim ibn Maisara, that Abu Ayyub al-Ansari went on jihad to Istanbul [Constantinople], where he heard a passer-by say, "The deeds done at noon are shown to the dead in the evening. The deeds done in the evening are shown to them in the morning." "What do you say?" asked Hadrat Abu Ayyub, and the man answered, "By Allah, I say this for you!" Abu Ayyub prayed, "Oh my Rabb! I seek refuge in Thee! Do not disgrace me for what I did near [the graves of] 'Ubadat ibnas-Samit and Sad ibn 'Ubada after they died." That person remarked, "Allahu ta'ala veils the short-comings of His servants; He makes their good deeds be seen." A hadith ash-Sharif quoted in al-Hakim at-Tirmidhi's Nawadir declares, "The deeds of human beings are presented to Allahu ta'ala on Mondays and Thursdays. To prophets, awliya' and parents, they are shown on Fridays. They become happy when they see good deeds. Their faces get brighter. Fear Allah! Do not hurt the dead!" The deeds of men are also made known to the dead whom they do not know. The hadith ash-Sharif reported by 'Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak and Ibn Abi 'd-dunya on the authority of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh) declares, "Your deeds are made known to the dead. They become happy when they see your good deeds. They become sad when they see your bad deeds." It was said, "Fear Allahu ta'ala because of your brothers in the graves! Your deeds are shown to them," in a hadith ash-Sharif quoted by al-Hakim at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Abi 'd-dunya and al-Baihaki in his book Shu'ab al-iman on the authority of Numan ibn Bashir. These two hadiths refer to all the dead. Hadrat Abu 'd-darda (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh) said, "Your deeds are shown to the dead. They become happy or sad upon seeing them." Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya quoted, in his book Kitab ar-ruh and on the authority of Ibn Abi 'd-dunya, Sadaqat ibn Sulaiman al-Jafari as saying, "I was a man of bad habits. I repented of them after my father's death. I gave up my impetuosities. Once I committed a fault. Thereupon, I dreamt of my father saying, 'Oh my son! I have been feeling comfortable in my grave with your beautiful deeds. What you do is shown to us. Your deeds have been like those of the sulaha'. But I felt very sad and ashamed of what you did recently. Do not make me feel ashamed among the dead nearby." " This narration reflects that the dead who are not acquaintances can also be aware of the events in the world. Because, his father said, "Do not make me feel ashamed among the dead nearby," referring to the deeds of his son shown to him. He would not say so if the unacquainted dead did not understand that his son's deeds were being shown to the father. We also quoted above the hadith ash-Sharif, related by Hadrat Khalid ibn Zaid Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh), stating that the deeds in this world were shown to all the dead whether acquainted or not.
PART FOUR. The dead's visiting and meeting one another was stated in sahih khabars. It was declared, "Make good shrouds for your dead people! They visit one another and praise themselves in their graves," in a hadith narrated by Harith ibn Abi Usama [al-Baghdadi, d. 282 A.H. (895)], 'Ubaid-Allah ibn Said al-Wayili [d. 440 A.H. (1048)], in his book Ibana, and [Muhammad ibn 'Umar al-Hijazi] al-'Uqaili [d. 322 A.H. (934)] on the authority of Jabir ibn 'Abdullah. A hadith ash-Sharif in the Sahih of Muslim declares, "Those who undertake the funeral duties of their brothers, make their shrouds good!" This is because, the dead visit and praise themselves to one another. It was declared, "Make the shrouds of your dead people nice! Because, they visit one another wearing their shrouds," in a hadith ash-Sharif narrated by Abu Huraira. The hadith ash-Sharif quoted by [Muhammad] at-Tirmidhi [d. Bag, 320 A.H. (932)], Muhammad Ibn Maja [d. Kazvin, 273 A.H. (866)], Muhammad ibn Yahya al-Hamadani [al-Misri ash-Shafi'i, d. 347 A.H. (959)], in his Sahih, ['Abdullah] Ibn Abi'd-dunya [d. Baghdad, 281 A.H. (894)] and [Ahmad Abu Bakr] al-Baihaki [d. Baihak, Nishapur, 458 A.H. (1066) (rahmat-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain)], in his Shu'ab al-iman, on the authority of Abu Qatada, declares, "He who performs the funeral service for his brother-in-Islam should make his shroud neat! Because, they visit one another in their graves."
Ibn Taymiyya, in various parts of his fatwas, says, "The dead visit one another whether the cities where they were buried are near or far away. The souls of the dead buried at distant cities meet one another." The Hanafi 'ulama' write in books of fiqh that it is sunnat that the shrouds be nice, because the dead praise themselves to one another and visit one another. In fact, the 'ulama' of all the madhhabs write so in their books of fiqh. Many amazing khabars and narrations confirming this fact have been reported. Those who wish to read more on this subject may refer to the book Sharh as-sudur by Hadrat Imam as-Suyuti, a scholar of hadith. The la-madhhabi say that they trust in the 'ulama' of hadith, quote many hadiths as proofs and documents from books of hadith and claim that Ibn Taymiyya was the greatest alim of Islam. They read the books of hadith which write that the dead see and hear in a way we do not know and understand, yet they do not believe them and label as 'unbelievers' or 'polytheists' those who believe that Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) and awliya' hear. They claim that those pilgrims who say, "Oh Rasul-Allah! Intercede for us!" in front of Rasulullah's blessed tomb are polytheists. They say that hundreds of thousands of animals sacrificed by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims at Mina [near Mecca] are najs (impure according to Islam) and, therefore, they do not eat them but cover them with soil with bulldozers. They say, "The animals slaughtered by polytheist[!] should not be eaten or sold."
PART FIVE. The dead know what living people do in the world even without it being shown to them. Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya, whom the la-madhhabi call an 'allama and esteem greatly, wrote in his book Kitab ar-ruh as follows:
"Hafiz (scholar of hadith) Abu Muhammad 'Abd al-Haqq al-Ashbili [al-Maliki (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala), d. 497 A.H. (1104) gives detailed information on this subject. The dead ask questions about the deeds of the living and understand their words and actions." On the next page of his book, he quotes 'Amr ibn Dinar as saying, "One knows about the changes happening with what he left behind as he dies. He sees and watches the people who wash and shroud him." On the following page, Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya writes: "Sa'b ibn Jusama [He was the son of Zainab bint Harb, the sister of Abu Sufyan. He passed away during the caliphate of Hadrat Abu Bakr.] and 'Awf ibn Malik adopted each other as brothers in the next world. They agreed that the one who died first would appear in the dream of the other. Sa'b died first and appeared in 'Awf's dream, who asked, 'What did Allahu ta'ala do about you?' Sa'b said, 'He forgave me.' At the end of the conversation, Sa'b said, 'I am being informed of all the deeds of my acquaintances since my death to such details that, for instance, I now know that our cat died... days ago. My daughter will die within six days. You be the trustee after her.' It happened as he said in the dream." Next he narrates that Thabit ibn Qays appeared in the dream of one of Khalid ibn Walid's (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anhuma) soldiers and said to him, "Go and tell Khalid ibn Walid that one of the Muslim soldiers came and took my steel shirt off my body to his tent after I was martyred. His tent is at the other end of the camp. A horse with a long halter grazes near his tent. May he take my shirt from that soldier." Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya says, "The man told his dream to Khalid. They went to that tent and found the shirt therein."
PART SIX. Al-Imam as-Suyuti quotes in his book Sharh as-sudur the hadith ash-Sharif related by [Abu Nasr Shahr-dar] ad-Dailami [d. 558 A.H. (1164)] on the authority of our mother 'Aisha (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anha) about the fact that the dead are hurt by the news from the living. This hadith ash-Sharif declares: "One gets offended in his grave by whatever he would have been offended by when he was [alive] at home." In his work At-Tazkira, al-Imam al-Qurtubi wrote, "Allahu ta'ala makes the dead know about the deeds of the people of this world through an angel or by a symbol, a sign or by some other means." Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya, in Kitab ar-ruh, wrote, "One of the evidences indicating that the souls of the living meet those of the dead is that the living see the dead in dreams and ask them questions. The dead may inform the living about the things they do not know. Their answers about the past and the future turn out to be true. They often tell the places where they have buried something about which they had not talked to anybody when they were alive. It has been frequently seen also that the dead tell about those who owed them something and who witnessed the borrowing. They have also revealed many times about something they had done secretly, not known to anybody, and the things have turned out as they reported. Another very amazing phenomenon is that the person about whom they said would die on a certain date would die on that date. And it has been often seen that a secret deed of a living man has been revealed to another by a dead person. Sa'b and Thabit, as mentioned before, talked with living persons in dreams after they were dead." Al-Imam as-Suyuti quoted in his Sharh as-sudur Muhammad ibn Seerin (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh) as saying, "What the dead reveal is all true, because the dead are in a world where there is no lie or mistake. The people of that world always tell the truth. Our observations and comprehension affirm these words of ours." Ibn al-Qayyim and others said so, too. Because the soul is latif [ethereal], it comprehends the events which cannot be perceived through the sense organs. Hakim [Muhammad an-Nishapuri, d. 405 A.H. (1014)] and al-Baihaki, in his book Dala'il, narrate that Sulaiman [ibn Yasar, ex-slave freed by Maimuna (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh), d. 107 A.H. (726)] went once to Hadrat Umm Salama, who was then weeping, and asked why she was weeping. She said, "I dreamt of Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam). He was weeping. There was soil on his blessed head and beard. I asked, 'Why is your blessed face so?' 'I saw my [grand] son Husain get martyred,' he said." [Wali ad-din Muhammad] Al-Khatib at-Tabrizi [ash-Shafi'i, d. 749 A.H. (1347)], too, quotes this in his book Mishkat al-MasAbih. Ibn Abi 'd-dunya (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih) reports a grave-digger of the Bani Asad tribe as saying, "I was in the graveyard one night. A voice from a grave called, 'Oh 'Abdullah!' Another replied, 'What do you want, oh Jabir?' The first one said, 'Our brother will come to us tomorrow.' 'He will not be of any use to us. People will not pray for us [after he is buried beside us]. My father is angry with him and had sworn not to pray for him,' answered the other. The next morning a man came and told me to dig a grave in between the two graves. He was pointing at those two graves from which I heard the conversation the night before. 'What are the names of the persons in these graves?' I asked. 'This is Jabir and that is 'Abdullah,' he pointed out. I told him what I heard that night. 'Yes, it is true that I swore not to pray for him. But now I will break my oath and pray, but expiate (kaffara) for it,' he said."
PART SEVEN. It is written in reliable books that, by Allahu ta'ala's permission, the dead do work, and many things are witnessed from them. Hadith scholar al-Imam as-Suyuti, in his book Al-mutaqaddim, and hafiz [Ahmad] Ibn Hajar [al-Askalani, d. Egypt, 852 A.H. (1448)], in his fatwas, say, "The souls of believers are at the maqam (stage, place) named 'Illiyyin, and those of disbelievers are in the place called Sijjin. Every soul is bound to his body in an unknown way. This attachment is not like the relations in this world. This relation is like that of a person and what he sees in his dream. But the attachment of the dead to their bodies and to other things is much stronger than that of living people to the things they dream. Therefore, it is not difficult to find an agreement between the above explanations and the statement. 'The souls are by their graves,' by [Hafiz Yusuf] 'Abd al-Birr [al-Maliki, d. Shatiba, Andalusia (Spain), 463 A.H. (1071)]. The souls are permitted to affect and dispose (tasarruf) their bodies and be present in their graves. If a corpse is transferred to another grave, the attachment of the soul to the body will not be disturbed. This attachment will not fade even after the body decays and its earthen substances, liquids and gases diffuse into the soil." Al-Imam as-Suyuti said, "The hadith narrated by Ibn 'Asakir on the authority of 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas shows that souls are permitted to attach to and to dispose their bodies even while they are at 'Illiyyin: Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) declared, 'One night Jafar Tayyar came to me. There was an angel with him. It had two wings. The tips of the wings were stained with blood. They were going to the valley of Beesha in Yaman,' after Jafar Tayyar had been martyred. It was declared in a hadith ash-Sharif, 'I saw Jafar ibn Abi Talib among angels. They were giving the good news of the coming rain to the people of Beesha,' which was related by Ibn 'Adi on the authority of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib. Hadith scholar Hakim reported 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas as saying that he was sitting by Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam), and Asma' bint 'Umais was also present; Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam), after saying "Alaikum salam," declared: 'Oh Asma! Your husband Jafar came to me with [Archangels] Jabrail and Mikail just a moment ago. They greeted me. I answered their greeting. He said, "I fought with disbelievers in the Battle of Muta for a few days. I got wounded on seventy-three points all over my body. I held the flag with my right hand. Then my right arm was cutoff. I held the flag with my left hand, them my left arm was cut off. Allahu ta'ala gave me two wings instead of my two arms: I fly with Jabrail and Mika'il. I fly out from Paradise whenever I wish. And I go in and eat its fruits whenever I wish." ' Upon this, Asma' said, 'May Allahu ta'ala's favors do good to Jafar! But I am afraid people will not believe it when they hear it. Oh Rasul-Allah! Would you tell them on the minbar! They will believe you.' Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) honored the majid and ascended the minbar. After praising and glorifying Allahu ta'ala, he said, 'Jafar ibn Abi Talib came to me with Jabrail and Mikail. Allahu ta'ala has granted him two wings. He greeted me.' Then he repeated what he had told Asma' about her husband." These hadiths reveals that Allahu ta'ala permits His martyred and pious servants to do useful deeds for men. The 'ulama' of hadith wrote many khabars conveying such information confirming this fact. Imam Jalal ad-din as-Suyuti reports one of them: "Ibn Abi 'd-dunya said: Abu 'Abdullah ash-Shami went to fight against the Byzantines. They were pursuing the enemy. Two Muslim soldiers departed from the main body of the army. One of them said, 'We saw the enemy commander and attacked him. We fought for a long time. My friend fell martyred. I gave up fighting and turned back and looked for our fellow soldiers. Then I said to myself, "Shame on you! Why do you flee?" and turned back and attacked the enemy commander. My sword blow missed him. He attacked me, knocked me down and sat on my chest. He made a grab at something to kill me with. Just at that moment, my martyred friend sprang up and caught the enemy by his hair and pulled him back. We together killed the unbeliever. Talking to each other, we walked to a distant tree where my friend again lay down dead. I came to my Muslim brothers and told them what had happened.' " The author of the book Rawdat al-'ulama', Hanafi scholar az-Zandawisti, [Another book of Husain Ibn Yahya az-Zanduwisti al-Bukhari Rawdat al-ulama, is famous, too. He passed away in 400 A.H. (1010).] quotes and the author of the book zubdat al-fuqaha' narrated this event too. Hadith scholar [Ahmad] al-Mahamili ash-Shafi'i [d. Baghdad, 415 A.H. (1024)] 'Abd al-'Aziz ibn 'Abdullah as saying, 'We were in Damascus with a friend. His wife was with him, too. I already knew that their son had been martyred. A cavalryman approached us. My friend welcomed him. "This is our son," he said to his wife. "May Satan be far from you," she said, "You are wrong. Did you forget that your son was martyred long ago?" The man felt regret for what he said. But he went close to the cavalryman and, after looking carefully, said, "By Allah! This is our son!" The woman was compelled to look and cried, "By Allah! It's him!" My friend asked, "You were martyred, my son, were you not?" The cavalryman said, "Yes Father! But, 'Umar ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz has just died now [in 101 A.H. (720)]. We martyrs asked our Rabb for permission to visit him. I asked for permission also to greet you." He bid farewell and departed from them. soon it was heard that 'Umar ibn 'Abd al-Aziz had passed away.' " Al-Imam as-Suyuti adds, "These khabars are genuine and true. The 'ulama' of hadith wrote them with their documents. Al-Imam ['Afif ad-din 'Abdullah] Yafii [ash-Shafi'i (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih), d. Mecca, 768 A.H. (1367),] wrote the last one. I also repeated it to support his writing." Many such events are written in as-Suyuti's book. Those who wish to read further may refer to that book.
Al-Imam al-Yafii wrote: "Seeing the dead in good or bad conditions is what Allahu ta'ala grants to some of His servants as a kashf or karama. It is for the purpose of giving good news to the living, of giving admonition, of mediating benefactions on behalf of the dead or of helping the [dead's] debts to be paid. The dead are seen mostly in dreams. Nevertheless, there are people who see them when they are awake. This is a karama for walis and men of hal." In another place in his book, he wrote: "The 'ulama' of Ahl as-Sunnat declare that the souls of the dead in 'Illiyyin or Sijjin are sent back to their bodies in graves occasionally, that is, when Allahu ta'ala wishes. This happens mostly on Friday nights. The dead meet and talk with one another. Those who deserve Paradise attain blessings. Those who are to be tortured are tortured. Souls are given blessings or tortures in 'Illiyyin and Sijjin respectively even though their bodies are not there. In the grave, however, both the soul and the body are granted blessings or punished." Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya says in his book Kitab ar-ruh: "It can be concluded from these records [of events] that the state (hal) of the soul varies with its strength or weakness, greatness or humbleness. The states of great souls are not the same as those of others. It is known that the souls in this world have different states depending on their strength or weakness or speed. Compared to the soul who is controlled by the body, the soul who has escaped the slavery, connection and disposition of his body has a different strength, influence, ability to help, speed and relation to Allahu ta'ala and to the world of substances. The soul itself is superior, pure, great and capable of great help. He becomes more than he is after he departs from the body. He can do many other things. The souls of the dead are seen in dreams and can do extraordinary things they were not able to do when they were alive and attached to their bodies. It has been witnessed many a time that one, two or several persons have overcome a big army. Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam), Abu Bakr and 'Umar (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anhuma) many times were seen in dreams, their causing a disbelieving and unjust enemy's rout and defeat. What we have written here is compatible with the tafsirs by some mufassirs of the fifth ayat of Surat an-Nazi'at, for example, the interpretation of [Qadi 'Abdullah] al-Baidawi [ash-ShiRazi, d. Tebriz, 685 A.H. (1281)]: 'The soul of a wali goes to the world of angels when he departs from the body. Then he goes to wander in Paradise's gardens. He keep us a relation with his body, too, and influences it.' "
PART EIGHT. It was revealed by Allahu ta'ala and His Rasul that it is permissible for the living to be cognizant of the blessings and punishments in graves and to see it with their bodily eyes. The 'ulama' of the Ahl as-Sunnat wal-Jamaat report unanimously that there is blessings or punishment in the grave and that it is necessary to believe that it happens both to the soul and the body. This is explained in books of aqa'id in detail. Only the Mutazila and Kharijis do not believe in the punishment in the grave. It is evident from hadiths, the athars of as-Sahabat al-kiram (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anhum ajmain) and the written works of Salaf as-salihin that there is punishment in the grave. Some ignorant people do not believe it because they do not know of these documents. It will be useful to note some of these documents to strengthen their iman.
As dealt with above, prophets are alive in their graves with a kind of life we do not know. It is reported [in the Sahihain] by al-Bukhari and Muslim that they performed hajj after they died. As for the people who are not prophets, Abu Nuaym quotes Thabit al-Banani as saying, "I asked Hamid at-Tawil, 'Do only prophets perform salat in their graves?' He said, 'No. Other people may perform it, too.' Then I said, 'Oh my Rabb! May You make it fall to Thabit's lot, too, to perform salat in his grave if You ever permit a person to perform salat in his grave!' " Again Abu Nuaym reports: Jubair said, "I swear by Allah who is the only Creator! I placed Thabit al-Banani into the grave. Hamid at-Tawil was with me, too. We covered him with soil. The soil gave way on one side. I looked into the grave and saw him performing salat." [Muhammad] Ibn Jarir [at-Tabari, d. 310 A.H. (923)], in his book Tahzib al-Athar, and Abu Nuaym narrate from Ibrahim ibn Samit that people who passed by Thabit al-Banani's grave at dawn said that they heard the Qur'an al-karim being recited from his grave. [Abu 'l-Faraj 'Abd ar-Rahman] Ibn al-Jawzi [al-Hanbali, d. 597 A.H. (1200)], too, writes this in his book Safwat as-Safwa. At-Tirmidi, Hakim and al-Baihaki quote 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas as saying, "Some Sahabis set up a tent at a place where there was a grave that could not be noticed. They heard Surat al-Mulk being recited inside the tent. Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) came in the tent after the recitation ended. When they told him what they had heard, he said, 'This honorable sura protects men from the punishment in the grave.' " In his book Kitab ar-ruh, Abu 'l-Qasim as-Sadi wrote: "This hadith ash-Sharif confirms that the dead recite [the Qur'an al-karim] in their graves. 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar, too, had set up a tent somewhere, and he heard the Qur'an al-karim being recited in the tent. He told it to Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam), who confirmed his words." Hadith scholar Zain ad-din ibn Rajab [Abu 'l-Faraj 'Abd ar-Rahman al-Hanbali, d. 795 A.H. (1393)], in his book Ahwal al-qubur, wrote: "Allahu ta'ala endows His beloved servants with performing pious deeds in their graves. The duty of performing 'ibada ends when a human being dies. 'Ibada done in the grave will not be recompensed, but the dead enjoy remembering Allahu ta'ala and performing 'ibada. So do angels and the people in Paradise. They find pleasure in worshiping, because dhikr and 'ibada are the sweetest things for pure-souled people. Those with sick souls cannot get the taste of this pleasure." Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya, in his Kitab ar-ruh, Ibn Taymiyya, al-Imam as-Suyuti in his Sharh as-sudur, and many other 'ulama' wrote the same. Abu 'l-Hasan ibn Bara' wrote in his work Rawda, "Ibrahim, a grave-digger, said, 'I dug a grave. I perceived a smell of musk from the grave and from pieces of adobe. I looked into the grave and saw an old person reciting the Qur'an al-karim.' Muhammad ibn Ishaq ibn Manda [d. 395 A.H. (1005)] quoted 'Asim as-Suqatee as saying, 'We dug a grave in the city of Balkh. The interior of the neighboring grave became visible. A green-shrouded old person was reading the Holy Qur'an which he was holding in his hands.' " There are many such events written in this book. Hadith scholar Abu Muhammad Halal ['Abdullah al-Maliki, d. Egypt, 616 A.H. (1219),] wrote in his book Karamat al-awliya' that Abu Yusuf al-Ghasuli said he visited Hadrat Ibrahim ibn Adham in Damascus. "I saw a wonderful thing today," Hadrat Ibrahim said. "What was it?" Abu Yusuf asked. "I was standing by a grave in that graveyard. The grave split open. A green shrouded old person appeared. 'Oh Ibrahim! Allahu ta'ala brought me back to life for you. You may ask any question you wish,' he said, 'How did Allahu ta'ala treat you?' I asked. 'My bad deeds had surrounded me. [But] He said He forgave me for three reasons: Because I had loved whom He loved, because I had never drank alcoholic drinks in the world and because I had arrived in His Audience with my white beard. He declared He would be ashamed of punishing Muslims who would come to His Audience in that manner.' Then the old person disappeared in the grave." Ibn al-Jawzi wrote in his book Safwat as-Safwa: "Umm al-Aswad quoted Muaza, her wet-nurse, as saying, 'The world has become a prison for me since Abu 's-Sahba and my son got martyred. I enjoy nothing. Yet I want to live only with the hope that I might do something that would make me attain Allahu ta'ala's pleasure and in this way meet Abu 's-Sahba and my son in Paradise.' Muhammad ibn Husain said that Muaza wept when she was about to die. And then she smiled. When asked why she did so, she said, 'I was sorry because I was quitting [because of coming death] salat, fasting, reading the Qur'an al-karim and repeating Allahu ta'ala's Name. Then I saw Abu 's-Sahba. He was wearing a green, two-pieced dress. I had not seen him so when he was alive. And this is why I smiled.' Muaza had seen Hadrat 'Aisha (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anha) and narrated hadiths on her authority. Great 'ulama' such as Hasan al-Basri, Abu Qilaba and Yazid ar-Rakashi narrated hadiths from Muaza."
There have been people who witnessed the punishment in the grave. The 46th ayat karima of Surat al-Mumin says, "The fire of Hell they are to go to is shown to Pharaoh and his people every morning and evening." The hadith ash-Sharif in the Sahihain of al-Bukhari and Muslim says, "If you were able to keep it a secret, I would pray that He shall make you hear the torture in the grave as He has made me hear it." The punishment in the grave is inflicted both on the soul and the body together because they had committed unbelief and sins together. The punishment of the soul solely is not compatible with Divine Wisdom and Justice. The 'ulama' declare that, although the body is seen to decay and disappear in the grave, it exists in Allahu ta'ala's knowledge. Many Sahabis saw and told that both the souls and the bodies of the dead were tortured. Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya, in Kitab ar-ruh, al-Imam as-Suyuti, in Sharh as-sudur, and Ibn Rajab, in his book Ahwal al-qudur, wrote: "A person said in the presence of Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam), 'I saw someone come out from the earth. A man struck him with a stick and he disappeared into the ground, and this was repeated whenever he rose from the earth.' Rasulullah remarked, 'It was Abu Jahl that you saw. He will be tortured like that until the Resurrection.' " This khabar and similar ones confirm that everyone may see what is happening inside a grave like prophets and awliya' do. Awliya's seeing can never be denied. They see by Allahu ta'ala's Qudra (Omnipotence).
All of what we have written up to here proves that the dead are alive in graves with a life unknown to us, which may be called 'grave life.' All 'ulama' of Islam have said that death is not the end of existence but a migration from one house to another. Prophets ('alaihimu 's-salawatu wa 't-taslimat) and awliya' (rahimahum-Allahu ta'ala) endeavored to disseminate Islam, so they all acquired the degree of being martyrs [after death]. It is openly stated in the Qur'an al-karim that martyrs are alive. Then, why should it be strange to make tasabbub, tashaffu' and tawassul through them? 'Tasabbub' means to ask them as causes (sabab) to help in Allahu ta'ala's Audience. 'Tawassul' means to ask them to pray for us, because they are Allahu ta'ala's beloved servants both in this world and the next. The Qur'an al-karim declares that they will attain whatever they want and that they will be granted whatever they wish. Can a person be blamed for asking of such dead people for the things that may be asked of living people? Can a person be reproved for having recourse to dead prophets and walis as causes or mediators, while he believes that Allahu ta'ala Himself alone will create the things expected from them and that there is no creator but Allah? Those who think that they decayed and became soil or nonexistent deny all these. Those who do not know Islam and cannot understand their honor and superiority do not believe. People who do not understand the honor and superiority of prophets and awliya' are ignorant of the religion. They have not comprehended Islam. Muslims whom they regard as ignorant are more learned and intelligent than they are. It was stated in hadiths and conveyed unanimously by Muslim 'ulama' that it is permissible to go to the graves of prophets ('alaihimu 's-salawatu wa 't-taslimat) and awliya', to ask Allahu ta'ala for something through their mediation and causation and to entreat them to intercede for us on the Day of Judgement. Our praise and thanks be to Allahu ta'ala who has bestowed on us the belief in the hadiths of the Highest of Mankind, Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam), and in the books of the distinguished beloved people who have followed him! If our Rabb had not granted this great favor, we would not have been able to understand and find it out by ourselves and would have perished.
Now we shall quote the ayats which verify that it is permissible to ask Allahu ta'ala to create through prophets and awliya', that is, by taking them as causes and mediators: "Oh believers! Fear Allahu ta'ala! Seek for a means to approach Him!" (Al-Ma'ida, 38) "There are those who pray and perform 'ibada. They seek a means, a cause, to approach their Rabb. They want the cause that will take them closest to Allahu ta'ala." (Al-Isra, 57) [This ayat is written on the 97th page of the Wahhabite book, which also quotes Qatada as saying, "Approach closer to Allahu ta'ala by performing the ibada He approves," but addsthat prophets and their followers' paths were intermediaries and that they themselves were not.] In these ayats, Allahu ta'ala commands men to hold fast to the causes, the intermediaries, through which, He declares, they may approach closest to Him. He did not prescribe intermediaries as certain things. Therefore, everything which makes people attain Allahu ta'ala's approval, that is, not only [the dead's] prayers -contrary to what the Kharijis believe- but also their intercession, status and virtues in Allahu ta'ala's view and they themselves are all intermediaries. The 'ulama' of Ahl as-Sunnat have said that prophets and their followers themselves, their intercession, grades, karamat and prayers are mediators as well as the path, that is, the belief, 'ibada and ikhlas they possessed. Those who claim that they could not be mediators thus slander the Qur'an al-karim, the Hadith ash-Sharif, prophets and awliya. It is clearly stated in the Qur'an al-karim and the Hadith ash-Sharif that prophets and awliya' can be made intermediaries.
The 33rd ayat of Surat al-Anfal declares, "I shall not punish those unbelievers as long as you are near them." As written in books of tafsir and [the Sahih of] al-Bukhari, the disbelievers mocked our Prophet by saying, "Tell your Allah to punish us soon." The above ayat karima was revealed upon this, declaring that the existence of Rasulullah's (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) blessed body near them prevented the punishment. It cannot be said that Rasulullah prevented the punishment by the virtue of his prophethood or by praying or interceding, because neither the unbelievers were to be prayed or interceded for nor the prophethood in which they disbelieved would do them any good.
The same ayat says, "Allahu ta'ala does not punish them because they ask for forgiveness." Most of Salaf as-salihin said that this ayat karima meant, "I do not punish them because they will have children who will ask for forgiveness." Allahu ta'ala declared, "I do not punish them," for He had decreed in the eternity to have kafirs' descendants believe. Therefore, according to the 'ulama' who said so, the motes of the coming Muslims in the blood of the kafirs were the causes which prevented the punishment.
Allahu ta'ala declares, "The earth would be upset if Allahu ta'ala had set mankind free against one another." (Al-Baqara, 251; al-Hajj, 40) Some 'ulama' of tafsir interpreted this ayat karima as, "The world would have been in utter disorder if Allahu ta'ala had created no believer, but solely unbelievers. The [existence of] bodies of believers protect the world against disorder." Salvation is in man himself and cannot be attained as a result of his deeds. This is why it was declared, "A human being is Said (good) or shaqi (bad) before he comes to this world," in a hadith ash-Sharif. It is in appearance that good deeds affect being Said, but it is not so in reality. This is why it was declared, "A person commits bad deeds which will take him to Hell; he nears Hell. If he is Said in Umm al-kitab, that is, in Divine Knowledge, he does something which will take him to Paradise in his last days and goes to Paradise," in a hadith ash-Sharif. Man's deeds do not take him to Paradise. They act as causes for his going to Paradise. And that is why a hadith ash-Sharif says, "No one is to go to Paradise for his good deeds or 'ibadat." When it was asked, "Is it the same for you, Oh Rasul-Allah?" he answered, "It is the same for me, too. I am to attain salvation only through Allahu ta'ala's Mercy and Benevolence." One cannot say that a man who performs good deeds and 'ibadat will certainly go to Paradise. But it can be said that a man who was determined to be Said in eternity will certainly go to Paradise. Being Said or shaqi does not depend on man's deeds, but on his very person (or essence, dhat). It was for his blessed person that Allahu ta'ala chose Muhammad (alaihi 's-salam) from among men and made him superior to His other prophets. Every believer acknowledges this. It is the same for the superiorities of rasuls, nabis and walis. Degree, rank and every superiority depends on one's dhat, which does not depend on rank in turn. [For example, a man is not valuable because he is a general, but he has become a general because he is a valuable person.] Then, it has become apparent that the Wahhabite claims, such as "The matter, objects and persons cannot be causes," are wrong. Ayats, hadiths and Rasulullah's (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) sunnat show that they are on a wrong and heretical path.
A hadith ash-Sharif says, "Our sick people recover by means of the blessings of our soil and the saliva of one of us and by Allahu ta'ala's permission." Allahu ta'ala grants health if someone mixes clean soil with his clean saliva and gives it to a sick person as medicine. Soil and saliva, or the medicines of a druggist with certain effects, are all substances, materials, that is, they are dhats. They cannot be thought to have rank or virtue or to intercede. It is declared, "The Zamzam water has uses according to the intention of the one who drinks it," in a hadith sahih in the Sahih of Imam Muslim ash-Shafi'i (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih). Zamzam water, when drank with the intention of obtaining whatever use, whether it pertains to this world or the hereafter, renders that use. This has been witnessed many times. Everyone knows that Zamzam water is a dhat, a substance, and cannot be thought to affect through its rank or to pray and intercede so that it may give health and help.
As defined in a hadith sahih and unanimously reported by all scholars of fiqh, the place o visiting (tawaf) between the door of the Kaba and the stone, Hajar al-aswad, is called Multazam. If someone touches his belly to the wall of the Kaba at this place and, making Multazam a means for the acceptance of his prayer, entreats Allahu ta'ala, He protects him against loss and defect. This has been experienced many times. As everyone knows, Multazam is a group of several stones in the wall of the Kaba. These stones are dhats, that is, materials. As Allahu ta'ala has given certain peculiarities to each substance, so He has given these stones the property of being a means for goodness, for good use. [As He has given aspirin the effect to relieve pain, quinine to kill malarial plasmodia, and alcoholic drink to cause intoxication, so He has given these stones the effect of being a means for the acceptance of prayers, unlike other stones.]
Such useful effects have been given to the visiting-place under the spout on the northern side of the Kaba, to the place named Maqam al-Ibrahim, which is opposite the door of the Kaba in Masjid al-Haram, and to kissing and touching with the hand or face Hajar al-aswad, the black stone on one corner of the Kaba. Allahu ta'ala has given these substances the effect of making acceptable the prayers of those who recommend themselves through them, that is, who pray putting them as intermediaries. While it is known, seen and believed that these substances act as means for the acceptance of prayers, wouldn't it be possible that prayers will be accepted through the mediation of Rasulullah and Allahu ta'ala's beloved servants who follow him? If someone dares to say that the established beneficial causation or mediation of earthly soil, some certain people's saliva, Zamzam water, the stones of Multazam, Maqam al-Ibrahim, where there are the footprints of the Prophet Ibrahim's blessed feet, and Hajar al-aswad does not prove the graves of prophets and awliya' to be causes or intermediaries, these words of his show that he is ignorant of Islam and is not ashamed of Allahu ta'ala and Rasulullah and Muslims. For this reason, as-Sahabat al-kiram ('alaihimu 'r-ridwan) esteemed Rasulullah's (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) honorable personality very much and respected him very deeply.
'Urwat ibn Masud as-Saqafi's words which were quoted by al-Bukhari and others were well known: "I went to Rasulullah as the envoy for the unbelievers for the Hudaibia Peace. Afterwards, I returned to Mecca and said to the notables of the Quraish, 'As you know, I have visited Persian shahs called Chostroe, Byzantian kings called Caesar and Abyssinian sovereigns called Negus many times. I have not seen them respected in any way as much as Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) is respected by his companions. I did not see his saliva fall to the ground -his companions catch it with their hands and rub it on their faces and eyes. Rushing to catch the water he used while taking ablution, they save it for its blessing. His companions catch every hair of his before it falls to the ground when his hair is cut or beard is trimmed, and they keep it as a most precious gem. They cannot look at his face because of their respect for him and modesty.' " It is understood from this report how much as-Sahabat al-kiram respected the tiny particles from Rasulullah's (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) dhat, even the things which may be regarded as dirty and ugly by other people. Can it be said that this deep respect and modesty were because his blessed saliva and the ablution-water which touched his blessed organs would pray or intercede for them, or had any rank or value? They were all substances. But they were valuable for having come from the most honorable dhat, his [body] material. The la-madhhabi, although they say that they are real religious men and monotheists, hold Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) equal to the idol al-Lat. They liken to idolatry what Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) and his Companions (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anhum ajmain) had done and ordered. We seek refuge in Allah from saying, thinking or believing as they do.
There are so many hadiths which confirm that it is permissible to ask for a wish from Allahu ta'ala by putting prophets ('alaihimu 's-salawatu wa 't-taslimat) and distinguished, beloved awliya, who have followed them, as intermediaries, that our wicked enemies cannot ever answer them. They fall into utter bewilderment. As it is written in the books of al-Bukhari and Muslim, Asma' bint Abi Bakr (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anha wa Abiha), showing a silken-collar, green gown (jubba) of our Prophet to the people around her, said, "Hadrat 'Aisha had this gown with her. I took it after her death. We cure our sick people by putting it on. Our sick people get well by wearing it." As it is seen as-Sahabat al-kiram ('alaihimu 'r-ridwan) used that gown as a means to restore health, because Allahu ta'ala's beloved Prophet (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa Alihi wa sallam), the possessor of all kinds of superiorities, had worn it.
Al-Hamidi quotes 'Abdullah ibn Mawhib in his book, which he composed from the two sahih books [of al-Bukhari and Muslim], as saying, "My wife gave me a cup of water and sent me to our mother Umm Salama. Hadrat Umm Salama brought a silver box. These was Rasulullah's (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) blessed beard in it. She stirred the water in the cup with the blessed [hairs of] beard and took it out. People who were struck by an evil eye or had some other trouble used to bring water and have it done so and recovered health by drinking it. I looked into the silver box and saw a few red hairs."
Al-Hamidi quotes Sahl ibn Sad in the same book: "Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) gave me his blessed shirt as a gift. My mother wanted to take it from me. 'I shall keep it for my shroud,' I told her. She said, 'I wanted to get blessings from our master Rasulullah's (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) blessed shirt.' " It is seen that the Prophet's Companions used his blessed shirt as a means and a cause to attain salvation from punishment [in the next world].
It is written by al-Bukhari and Muslim that Umm Salim said, "Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) was sleeping near me. His blessed face was in pearls of sweat. He woke up while I was collecting his sweat and putting it some where. 'Oh Umm Salim! What are you doing?' he asked. 'Oh Rasul-Allah! I want our children to be blessed with your sweat,' I said, 'You are doing well,' he said." In the commentary of the book Masabih, Ibn Malak wrote: "This hadith ash-Sharif shows that it is permissible to seek Allahu ta'ala's approval through the things that the superiors of tasawwuf, 'ulama' and sulaha' used."
Imam Muslim wrote in his Sahih: "Medinans used to take cups of water to Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) after he performed the morning salat. He would dip his blessed hands into every cup." And Ibn al-Jawzi wrote in his Bayanu 'l-mushkeeli 'l-hadith: "Thus, Medinans would attain blessings through Rasulullah. It is better that an alim should not refuse those who come to him to attain blessings in this way." It is understood from this statement of Ibn al-Jawzi and the writings of al-Imam an-Nawawi in the commentary to the Sahih of Muslim, of Qadi 'Iyad in Sharh-i Muslim and of the Hanafi alim Ibn Malak that this way of asking for blessings and advantages, contrary to what the Kharijis think, is not peculiar to Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) only. [It is obvious that the Kharijis either do not know of these scholars' books or knowingly persist in obstinacy which means they have evil inventions and thoughts.]
Al-Bukhari quoted Ibn Sirin in his Sahih: "It fell to my lot to have a piece of our master Rasulullah's blessed beard. I mentioned it to 'Ubaida. 'I would like more than anything else in the world to have a hair of that blessed beard,' he said."
Al-Bukhari wrote that Anas ibn Malik, who had the honor of being is Rasulullah's (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) service for a long time willed that a hair of the blessed beard be buried with him, wishing to enter Allahu ta'ala's Audience with it. It is written in the book Shifa': "One of Rasulullah's (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) superiorities and karamat and blessings is this: Khalid ibn Walid (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh) used to carry in his turban a hair of the blessed beard of Rasulullah. He won all the battles in which he had that hair with him." Why, then, should not the wishes be granted by Allahu ta'ala when Rasulullah's (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) blessed person is intended as a intermediary, while Khalid attained his wishes due to a blessed hair of his? Al-Imam al-Busuri (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih), the great scholar of Islam and a lover of Rasulullah, expresses this subtlety very beautifully in Qasidat al-Burda.
Al-Bukhari and Muslim quote 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas in their Sahihain as saying, "Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) came by two graves. He understood that both of them were in torture. He asked for a date branch. He broke it into two and planted them on the graves. 'Their suffering will be less as long as these remain green,' he said." The Hadith ash-Sharif teaches that green branches of a date tree may be put on graves in order that the suffering be diminished. Allahu ta'ala lessens the torture in the grave as a blessing of green grass. Green grass is a dhat, a substance. Diminution of torture through planting is not peculiar to Rasulullah. It is an unanimity among the 'ulama' of Islam that green date branches may be planted on graves at any time. It is for this that cypresses have been planted in Muslim graveyards. Why should it not be permissible to put the most superior of all beings and creatures [the Prophet] as a cause or an intermediary, while such an object as a date branch can cause diminution of torture? Can anyone have any objections to this if he has wisdom and can think reasonably?
It is permissible to make the substance, the dhat, a means to please Allahu ta'ala. Hind, Abu Sufyan's wife, had chewed a piece of Hadrat Hamza's (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anhuma) liver during the Battle of Uhud. Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "Hamza is very estimable in Allah's view, and He will not burn any part of his body in Hell." [This hadith sharif clarifies once more that Hind became a believer and will not go to Hell.] Rasulullah said, "The fire of Hell will not burn you!" to Malik ibn Sinan (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh) when he swallowed Rasulullah's blessed blood. Similarly, when 'Abdullah ibn Zubair (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh) drank his blessed blood of cupping, he did not rebuke him but said, "Many things will happen to you through men. And many things will happen to men through you." And he said, "You will never suffer stomach pain," to the woman who drank the remains of his drink. This hadith ash-Sharif is sahih, and her name was Baraka. Many 'ulama', for example, Qadi 'Iyad in his book Shifa' and al-Qastalani in Al-mawahib al-laduniyya, reported this. Oh Muslims! While even blood and similar things which once belonged to Rasulullah's (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) blessed body are causes or intermediaries for salvation from the fire of Hell and for relief of pain, why should it not be believed that his blessed body, or person, can be an intermediary or a cause for similar advantages? His blessed that was of Allahu ta'ala's Nur (Divine Light), [so] his shadow never fell on the ground. Jabir and many others (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anhum) related this. If someone says, "He cannot be taken as a mediator; he cannot be a cause for Allahu ta'ala's creating," should that person be regarded as a member of his umma or an enemy of that exalted Prophet, who is the darling of Allahu ta'ala and the highest of prophets? It has been stated in ayats that he is rahma (blessing) even for unbelievers. Why should he not be a means and cause of rahma for Muslims and Ahl as-Sunnat wal-Jamaat who love him?
The 'wasila' (intermediary, recourse) in the ayat al-karima, "Search for a wasila!" includes 'ibadat, prayers and also blessed, estimable dhats (persons, substances, themselves). The hadiths and events reported above prove this fact clearly.
There are many ayats indicating that it is permissible to ask creatures for everything, even for things which men are unable to do but Allahu ta'ala may bestow upon His awliya' as karamat. One of these ayats is the one in Surat an-Naml which quotes the Prophet Sulaiman ('alaihi's-salam) as saying, "Oh my people! Who will bring her throne here?" There were genies and men and even Satans among the people he addressed. Ifreet, one among an evil group of genies, said, "I can bring before you stand up." Sulaiman ('alaihi's-salam) said, "I want it to be brought faster." Asaf ibn Barhiya, Sulaiman's ('alaihi 's-salam) secretary, said, 'I can bring it faster." Bilqis' throne was in the Yaman, and Sulaiman ('alaihi 's-salam) was in Damascus. There was a distance of three months between the Yaman and Damascus [on foot]. He brought [her with her throne] to Damascus under the ground just at that moment. The throne was a couch ornamented with gold and jewels. This was a karama. Allahu ta'ala grants karamat, outside His usual custom or laws to His awliya', to His human servants whom He loves. Allahu ta'ala talks in praise of the karama He granted to a wali, a pious servant of His, in the Qur'an al-karim, and He did not reprove Sulaiman ('alaihi 's-salam) because he asked for this karama. He does not question, "Why did you ask someone else for this while I am closer to you than your aorta? Why did you not ask Me for something which men are not able to do and which no one else but I have the power to do?" For this reason, Sulaiman ('alaihi 's-salam) was Allahu ta'ala's Prophet. He knew that this word or wish of his was nothing but clinging to causes, which was compatible with his religion; Allahu ta'ala orders men to cling to causes. Asking Rasulullah, martyrs and salih people for something is a similar action. It is a way of making use of the karamat granted to them by Allahu ta'ala. They are causes (sabab), means (wasita) or recourses (wasila). Allahu ta'ala is the only one who creates and makes. The karamat of awliya' are [or stem] from the superiorities and mujizas of prophets (salawat-Allahi 'alaihim ajmain). Awliya' attain karamat through prophets, for they follow them.
The 89th ayat al-karima of Surat al-Baqara is one of the ayats which reveals that it is permissible to have recourse to and ask intercession of Allahu ta'ala's beloved servants, and first of all, the master of prophets, Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam). The 'ulama' of hadith unanimously report that this ayat karima descended for the Jews of Khaibar. These Jews were in war with the Asad and Ghatfan tribes during the Jahiliyya Ages. They prayed, "Oh our Rabb! Help us for the right of the Prophet You will send in the Last Age!" while they fought, and they won victories by making an intermediary of the last Prophet. But when Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) came and proclaimed Islam, they envied and persisted in disbelieving him. In the book Badayi' al-Fara'id, Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya wrote, "Jews were in war with their neighbor Arabs during the Jahiliyya Ages. They asked Allahu ta'ala for help through Rasulullah's blessed body before he came to this world. Allahu ta'ala helped them and they became victorious. But they did not believe Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) after he started disseminating Islam, and thus they became unbelievers. If they had not believed him before, they would have not asked for help through him." Some of the commentaries of the tafsir book by al-Baidawi quote Sad ad-din at-Taftazani [Masud ash-Shafi'i, d. Samarqand, 792 A.H. (1389)] as saying, "They [the Jews] asked for help by mentioning Rasulullah's blessed name. They made Rasulullah's blessed name an intercessor for themselves." Taqi ad-din al-Husni, a pious and ascetic alim, wrote in his book Mawlid an-Nabi: "A Muslim makes Rasulullah a mediator for his every affair when he learns of his high moral qualities, tenderness, mercy and patience and thus comprehends Rasulullah's prominence and superiority in Allahu ta'ala's esteem; because he is the intercessor, and Allahu ta'ala does not refute his intercession. He is Allahu ta'ala's mahbub (beloved). Allahu ta'ala answers the requests made through his mediation, his intercession. Allahu ta'ala announces this in the Qur'an al-karim and revealed it to His awliya'! The Qur'an al-karim explains that even the enemies of Rasulullah and all Muslims had attained their wishes by making him an intermediary, a wasila. Allahu ta'ala declares that he grave them what they wished because He loved him very much and made him the highest of all that is created. 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas related that the Jews of Khaibar used of fight with the Arab unbelievers called Ghatfan during the Jahiliyya Ages and were always defeated. After they prayed begging, 'Oh our Rabb! Help us for the sake of Your beloved Prophet whom You promised us You would send in the last Age,' they became victorious over the Ghatfan unbelievers. But they did not believe Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) when Allahu ta'ala sent him as the Prophet. They became unbelievers. Allahu ta'ala states this fact in the [above-mentioned] ayat al-karima. We see that Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) is so estimable, honorable and superior in Allahu ta'ala's view that He accepted even the prayers of unbelievers who regarded him an intermediary. Although Allahu ta'ala knew that the Jews would become the most prominent enemies of that beloved Prophet of His and that they would be very harmful for him, He accepted their prayers when they made him a wasila. While his honor and intercession were at such a degree even before he honored the world, can a wise, sensible person claim that it is a sin to make him a wasila, an intercessor, after the Prophet was sent as a blessing upon all 'alams (worlds of beings)? Hence, those who do not believe this [intercession] are worse than the Jews. The prayer of the first Prophet, Adam ('alaihi 's-salam) was also accepted when he prayed making him [Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam)] a wasila, which is written in books of tafsir and hadith in detail. Those who understand these documents will fully see what kind of people are those who do not believe that it is permissible to have recourse to him."
Supplement: It is from their karamat and superiorities that the things asked from Allahu ta'ala are granted when prophets and awliya' are regarded as wasilas and intercessors. They possess karamat in their graves after they die, too. The 'ulama' of Ahl as-Sunnat unanimously reported that the karama is true and it is wajib to believe in it. Allah declares that awliya' have karamat; as mentioned, an ayat karima states that Sulaiman ('alaihi 's-salam) wanted the throne of Bilqis to be brought from Saba' (Sehaba), in the Yaman, to Damascus in a moment. This throne was ornamented with gold and jewels. Asaf ibn Barhiya brought it in a moment. The throne was brought without any harm to any part of it. Asaf was a wali. It was a karama of his that he brought the throne in a moment. Hadrat Mariam's karama is told in the 37th ayat-al-karima of Surat Al 'Imran in the Qur'an al-karim. Though only the Prophet Zakariyya ('alaihi 's-salam) used to go to her room, he would see fresh fruits beside Hadrat Mariam whenever he visited her. She would say that they had come from Allahu ta'ala. The 'ulama' of Ahl as-Sunnat have unanimously declared that awliya' have karamat like prophets have mujizat, since Allahu ta'ala loves very much those who obey and follow prophets. He grants them karamat, in life as well as after death. That prophets and awliya' have mujizat and karamat [respectively] even after they die confirms that they were truthful, because the disbelieving enemies who saw their mujizat and karamat when they were alive thought that they worked them after learning from others, and it is impossible to think and say so about the mujizat and karamat which occur after they passed away. Allahu ta'ala Himself creates the mujizat and karamat. They occur solely by His Power. He creates them as a benevolence and favor to His prophets and awliya', through them and through their intercession. Mujiza is [a miracle] witnessed of a prophet, and karama is that witnessed of a pious believer who is known as a follower of a prophet. Prophets are mathum, that is, they never commit any sins. The devil cannot appear in the shape or body of a prophet. Awliya' are the inheritors of prophets, and the devil cannot approach them. It was recorded in many books that the devil fled from 'Umar, 'Abdullah ibn Masud and many other Sahabis (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anhum). 'Ali 'Ushi al-Farghanawi (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih), in his qasida entitled Bad' al-Amali, says,
"Wali has karama in the world;
They are the men of benevolence."
There is nothing to be confused about in this couplet for sensible, wise people. It stresses that the karamat of awliya' occur in this world, because there was disagreement between Ahl as-Sunnat and the Mutazila about the karamat in this world. The Mutazila said that there was no karama in this world. They thought that karama would be confused with mujiza, and a prophet could not be distinguished from a wali. According to Ahl as Sunnat, the possessor of mujiza had to announce that he was a prophet while it is forbidden for the possessor of karama to say that he is a wali. It should be concluded that he is not a wali if he says so. If the la-madhhabi understood this fact, they would not dare to slander awliya' by using the ugly words of zindiqs and liars as pretexts. The above couplet means, "The karamat of a wali occur in this world, too. Allahu ta'ala grants the wishes of those who ask a wali for something or for intercession." Those with a short comprehension take this couplet as meaning that a wali has karamat in this world only and say that no karama occurs from a wali after he dies. This interpretation is completely wrong, because profound 'ulama', for example, Sharaf ad-din Khalil an-Najjari al-Yamani al-Hanafi [d. 632 A.H. (1235)], in his commentary Nafis ar-riyad to the Qasidat al-Amali, and Shaikh Ahmad, commentator of Ashbah, [and also Sayyid Ahmad Asim Effendi Ayntabi (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih), translator of Qamus who died in Istanbul in 1234 A.H. (1820), in his commentary to the Qasidat al-Amali] explained this couplet the same as we did above. It may even be said that all people are in this world [even after death] until the Resurrection, that is, the beginning of the life in the other world. This is also explained in detail in the book Nuhbat al-lali, a commentary by Muhammad ibn Sulaiman al-Halabi ar-Raihawi [d. 1288 A.H. (1813)] (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih) to the Qasidat al-Amali.
Innumerable karamat of awliya' have been seen after their death. The 'ulama' have reported them unanimously. We are now going to relate a few of them. Al-Bukhari wrote in his Sahih: "Hadrat 'Asim, a Sahabi (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh), had promised Allahu ta'ala that he would not touch any mushrik and that no mushrik should ever touch him. Disbelievers wanted to approach his corpse when they martyred him. Allahu ta'ala, to protect 'Asim from being touched, sent bees. There were so many bees that they could not come near him. This was a karama granted to 'Asim after his death... Disbelievers imprisoned Hadrat Hubaib, a Sahabi. They threatened him saying, 'We shall release you if you say that Muhammad ['alaihi 's-salam] is a liar. If you do not say so, we will kill you!' Hubaib said, 'I would sacrifice my life lest a thorn should hurt his blessed foot!' They martyred him. A few Sahabis came at night and cut the rope around the martyr. [As they took him away,] his body fell to the ground. They could not see him on the ground. They could not understand where he had gone... A Sahabi named Hanzala made haste to join Rasulullah who was going to a holy war. He had not had time to perform a ghusl. He was martyred. Angels washed him. Therefore, he became well known with the name Ghasil al-Malaika." It is written in the book Mishkat: "Hadrat 'Aisha (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anha) said, 'The Abyssinian sovereign Najashi (Negus) became a believer. I have heard many people say that nur glowed over his grave all the time.' Rasulullah reported that Hadrat 'Ali's brother Jafar, after getting martyred, went to the town of Beesha in Yaman with angels and gave them the good news that it was going to rain. A qari', that is, a hafiz, was reciting Surat al-Kahf by Hadrat Husain's (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh) blessed head. When the ayat al-karima, 'Ashab al-Kahf were astounded by Our ayats,' was recited, a voice from the blessed head [of Hadrat Husain] was heard saying, 'It is a more astonishing event to kill and drag my body than that of the Ashab al-Kahf.' Nasr al-Hazai was hanged by Caliph Mamun ibn Harun [who passed away in 218 A.H. (833)] (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaihim). A man armed with a spear was left on guard to turn Nasr's face away from the qibla. His blessed face turned towards the qibla at night. At that moment, he was heard to recite the second ayat al-karima of Surat al-'Ankabut: 'Is it thought that those who said they believed were left alone by themselves?' Surat al-Mulk was heard from a grave being recited from the beginning to the end." These events are all true and are conveyed by the 'ulama' of hadith.
Ibn 'Asakir explained that 'Umair ibn Habbab as-Salami said, "We, eight friends, were imprisoned by Byzantine Greeks at the time of the 'Umayyads. They took us to the Byzantine emperor. 'Behead them!' he ordered. I went ahead before my friends to be killed first. The priests pitied me. They were astounded by my behavior. They implored the emperor, kissing his hands and feet, so that he would forgive me. One of the priests took me to his house. He brought a beautiful girl and introduced her to me. 'This is my daughter. I will marry her to you, and you shall accept our religion,' he said. 'I will not give up my religion for a wife or wealth,' I answered. After a few days, his daughter invited me to their garden and said, 'Why don't you do as my father advises?' 'I will not resign my religion for a woman or wealth,' I answered. 'Would you like to stay here or return to your country?' she asked. I said I wanted to return home. Pointing at a star in the sky, 'Go in the direction of that star during the night and hide during the day! You will reach your country,' she said and went in. I walked for three nights. While I was hiding on the fourth day, I heard some people calling me by name. I looked out and saw my friends who had been martyred. 'Have you not been martyred?' I asked. They said, 'Yes, we have, but Allahu ta'ala now ordered martyrs to attend the funeral of 'Umar ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih).' They were on horseback. 'Oh 'Umair! Give me your hand!' said one of them. I stretched out my hand. He gave me a lift on the back of his horse. We went fast. I found myself at home in Al-Jazira."
Ibn al-Jazwi wrote, "Abu 'Ali al-Barbari was one of the first three who settled in Tarsus. He fought against the Byzantine Greeks. He and his friends were imprisoned. The same happened to them as it had to 'Umair. They martyred his friends. A priest saved him and took him to his house. He offered his daughter to deceive him. But Allahu ta'ala granted the girl guidance [to the right path of Islam]. The two set out together. They hid during the day. They heard footsteps. He saw his two martyred friends. There were angels with them. He greeted his two friends and asked how they were. They said, 'Allahu ta'ala sent us to you. We shall witness your marriage (nikah) with this girl.' They went away after the nikah. The couple came to Damascus and long lived together. This event became well known in Damascus." [Muhammad Masum al-Faruqi as-Sirhindi left India by ship at the beginning of the year 1068 A.H. (1658) and first went to al-Madinat al-Munawwara and came to al-Makkt al-Mukarrama at the beginning of the month of Rajab. After performing hajj with his blessed sons, he returned to India at the beginning of 1069. During his visits to the great personages at Jannat al-Mu'alla and Jannat al-Baqi and to Rasulullah (Sall-Allahu alaihi wa sallam) at Hujrat as-Sa'ada in this one year, they appeared in their own figures and everyday he reported to his sons the good news they had given.] Such events and details of the dead's life in the graves are noted in Ibn Abi 'd-dunya's work, Abu Nuaym's Hilya and Ibn al-Jazwee's Safwat as-safwa and 'Uyun al-hikayat and in many other books. Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya, too, narrated the karamat of awliya' beautifully. [Isma'il al-Musuli (rahmat-Allahi alaih), one of leading Shafi'i scholars who passed away in 654 A.H. (1255 A.D.), proved with documents that awliya arre the possessors of karamat.]
It is strange that a few Hanafi men of religious duty and the Wahhabis do not believe that awliya' may go to very distant places in a short time [thay al-maka], which is a kind of karamat. The Hanafi 'ulama' have given good answers in their books of fiqh and 'aqa'id to those who deny it. They said, for example, that if a person from the West married a woman from the East and if he stayed far away from his wife for a long time and if his wife became pregnant a few years later, the expected child would be attributed to that man, for it is possible that the man might go to his wife by tayy al-makan. It is possible (jaiz) that such a man might be a man of karama. This has been unanimously declared by the 'ulama' of fiqh and noted in books of 'aqa'id, too. The book Wahhabiyya writes: "Tayy al-masafa, that is, traversing long distances in a moment, is a karama bestowed upon awliya'. It is wajib to believe in this." This fact is also written in An-Nasafi, Al-fiqh al-akbar, As-siwad al-azam, Wasiyyatu Abi Yusuf, Mawaqif and Maqasid and commentaries on them [and in Radd al-mukhtar]. Why should it not be believed while it is stated openly in the ayat al-karima? The 'ulama' of Ahl as-Sunnat based this contention on an ayat karima. The event, as reported in the ayat, that the throne of Bilqis was brought do Damascus in a moment verifies that tayy al-masafa is a karama.
The karamat of awliya' are finely explained in the 32nd article of the book As-siwad al-azam by Hakim as-Samarqandee Ishaq ibn Muhammad (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala), whom we thought it proper to quote: "It is necessary to believe in the karamat of awliya'. Anyone who does not believe in their karamat becomes a man of bidat, a heretic. There are two kinds of disbelieving in their karamat: one becomes a kafir if he disbelieves the ayats which narrate karamat; if he believes in the ayats but says, 'They were prophets,' again he becomes a kafir. If one believes in the ayats and does not say that they were prophets, it is permissible for him to say, 'The ayats narrate the karamat of awliya'.' For this reason, Allahu ta'ala declares in the [above-mentioned] ayat that the one who brought the throne of Bilqis in a moment was a learned man. That learned man was Asaf ibn Barhiya. He was a wali. He was not a prophet. He belonged to the umma of Sulaiman ('alaihi 's-salam). While a karama of one among the umma of Sulaiman ('alaihi 's-salam) is narrated in the Qur'an al-karim, why should it not be believed that the umma of Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) have karamat? Certainly Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) is superior to Sulaiman ('alaihi 's-salam) and the former's umma is superior to that of the latter. If the la-madhhabi say, 'This karama belonged to Sulaiman ('alaihi 's-salam),' we say, 'The karamat of this umma are of Muhammad (alaihi 's-salam) as an answer. Allahu ta'ala declares: 'Pull the date-wood to yourself! Therefrom fresh dates will fall for you,' in the 24th ayat al-karima of Surat al-Mariam. Allahu ta'ala reveals that He grew fruit from the dry date-Wood for Hadrat Mariam. who was not a prophet. The fruits which Zakariyya ('alaihi 's-salam) saw beside Hadrat Mariam and the event of Ashab al-kahf were all karamat. The ones who possessed these karamat were not prophets. Why should there not be awliya' who have karamat among the umma of Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) while there were awliya' who had karamat among the ummas of earlier prophets? The 110th ayat al-karima of Surat Al 'Imran declares, 'You have come as the best of ummas.' If those who do not believe in karamat say, 'A person cannot go to the Kaba and come back in one nighttime,' then we say, 'Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) was taken up through the seven heavens to the places where Allahu ta'ala wished and was taken back in a moment. Could there be a karama greater than this?' And again we say, 'Who is estimable, a believer or an unbeliever? We know of an unbeliever who goes from the East to the West and from the West to the East instantaneously, and we believe it. This is Iblis [the Satan] as we know. Why should the ability given to an unbeliever not be bestowed upon Allahu ta'ala's beloved servants? One should think deeply on this and be just,' " The translation from the commentary to As-iswad al-azam ends here. Ibn Taymiyya and many others wrote that those who did not believe in the karamat of awliya' were the Kharijis, Mutazilis and some Shiites. Therefore, these heretics do not have karama. There is not a man of karama among them. Therefore, they do not see, hear or believe any karama.
The translation from Dawud ibn Sulaiman's work Al-minhat ul-Wahbiyya fi raddi 'l-Wahhabiyya, as a refutation to the la-madhhabi author's book, ends here. By this beneficial occasion, the translation of the whole book came about.
'Abd al-Ghani an-Nabulusi wrote in his work Kashf an-Nur min Ashabi 'l-qubur: "Allahu ta'ala has bestowed karamat upon those human servants of His who have approached Him. Karamat are the things that are created outside of customs ('adat) and scientific knowledge by Allahu ta'ala that appear from human beings called awliya'. Allahu ta'ala, with His Power and Will, that is, whenever He wishes, creates such things in these servants of His. The power in human beings, too, is created by Allahu ta'ala. In the creation of such things, the power or will of servants does not have any effect (tathir). Their will and power only cause the creation of karamat. One becomes a kafir if he says and believes that a man may make a karama with his power whenever he wishes.
"A wali upon whom a karama has occurred knows that this karama has been created with only Allahu ta'ala's Will and Power, that his own will and power have had no effect. Similarly, every moment he knows that his bodily senses of seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling of hardness or heat, thinking, memorizing, remembering and the functions of his external and internal organs, in short all his movements come out always as a result of Allahu ta'ala's Will, Power and Creation. This is what being a wali means; that is, one who knows and believes every moment that all these happen as such has come close to Allahu ta'ala and has become a wali. This knowledge of his covers his whole existence every moment. Allahu ta'ala occasionally gives ghafla (unawareness) to His wali and makes him forget this knowledge of his. His being a wali has left during this period, but because he has been a wali formerly, he is still called a wali. Similarly, because one who has iman is called a believer, he is also called a believer while he is asleep or in a state of ghafla. The time of ghafla is the wali's inferior state (hal). The state of being dead mentioned by Allahu ta'ala as in "You are certainly dead. They, too, are dead," is also similar to this state. Therefore, awliya' (Rahimahum-Allahu ta'ala) has called the state of their understanding that their everything is from Allahu ta'ala ['fana' fi 'llah' or] 'mawt ikhtiyari' (optional death). A hadith ash-Sharif says, 'One who recognizes himself will have recognized his Rabb.' One who understands that all his actions, work and apparent or secret powers are not from himself but are created by another possessor of will and power has, in fact, understood Allahu ta'ala who is the Possessor of that Power. A Muslim who carries out all the fards ordered by Allahu ta'ala and, in addition, does the supererogatory (nafila) 'ibadat, that is, the 'ibadat, way of living and ahwal of Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam), gets close to Allahu ta'ala and becomes a wali. It becomes evident that his senses and actions are not from himself but from Allahu ta'ala. The hadith ash-Sharif stating this fact is written in books on tasawwuf.
"According to 'arifin, in order to become a wali one has to know that he is dead in the sense that is called mawt ikhtiyari. For the occurrence of karamat on awliya', they should be dead in this sense. Can a person who understands this say that karamat do not occur on the dead? Ignoramuses and the ghafil (those in ghafla) suppose that they do their actions with their own will and power and forget that everything is created by Allahu ta'ala.
"The books on fiqh, too, report that awliya' possess karamat also after death. In the Hanafi madhhab, it is makruh to step, to sit, to sleep or to break an ablution on a grave, because these mean betrayal and insult. The hadith ash-Sharif says, 'I prefer to step on fire rather than stepping on a grave.' These words state that it is necessary to respect human beings also after their death; that is, our religion preaches that the dead are possessors of karamat; that is, they are respect worthy. As we have reported above, 'karama' is the work done outside customs. Because men's walking and sitting on the earth are customary, not stepping or not sitting on a believer's grave is a karama, that is, a favor and an endowment on him. Our religion, which gives such a karama upon every believer after death, indicates that more valuable karamat are bestowed upon awliya' who are the possessors of 'ilm and 'irfan.
"Our Prophet (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) used to visit the Bakee cemetery and prayed standing at the side of graves. This also shows that the dead are the possessors of karama; for he would not have prayed there if he did not know that the prayer said at the grave of a believer will be accepted. That the prayer said at the grave of a believer is acceptable shows that the believer is a man of karama. While there is such a karama for every believer, it is apparent that there should be many more for awliya'.
"It is necessary to wash, shroud and bury a believer when he dies. Our religion orders us to do these. This order shows that a believer is a possessor of karama after death, too. There is no such karama of dead disbelievers and animals.
"A believer's body becomes dirty (najasa) when he dies. Washing it has been ordered to clean, to free him from this dirtiness. This order shows that a believer is a possessor of karama after death, too.
"It is written in the book Jami' al-fatawa [Author, Muhammad as-Samarqandi al-Hanafi passed away in 556 A.H. (1162).] that it is not makruh to construct a building or tomb over the graves of 'ulama' and sayyids. The same book states that one who washes a corpse should be clean, that it is makruh for him to be junub (bodily unclean, so in need of a ghusl, a bodily ablution). This, too, shows that every believer is a possessor of karama after death. However, not every believer possesses karama when alive. Only awliya' possess karamat also in life. Imam 'Abdullah an-Nasafi [al-Hanafi (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala), who passed away in Baghdad in 710 A.H. (1310),] wrote in his book Umdat al-itiqad: 'A believer is still a believer after his death just as he is a believer while he is asleep. Similarly, prophets are still prophets after death. This is because the one who is a prophet or believer is the soul. When a human being dies, no change takes place in his soul.' 'Human being' means not the 'body' but the 'soul.' The body is the temporary house for the soul. Not the house but those who stay in the house are valuable. Jabrail ('alaihi 's-salam) showed himself to our master, the Prophet, in the figure of a human being, usually in the figure of Dihya, a Sahabi. Some of the as-Sahabat al-kiram also saw Jabrail in the figure of a human being. It cannot be said that Jabrail became non-existent when he, discarding the human figure and donned his own figure, became like a soul. It can be said that he changed his figure. It is similar for the human soul, too. When a man dies, his soul goes from one 'alam (world) to another. Such a change in the soul does not show the absence of karamat.
"Many events and stories are written in books revealing that awliya' possess karamat also after death. For example, various karamat of Abu 'Abdullah ibn Zain al-Buree al-Ishbili are written in the great wali Muhyiddin ibn al-'Arabi's book Ruh al-Quds. A person named Abu 'l-Qasim ibn Hamdin became blind one night while he was reading a book that criticized and belittled Imam Muhammad Al-Ghazali. He immediately prostrated (sajda) and entreated Allahu ta'ala. He vowed not to read that book any more. Allahu ta'ala accepted and favored him with seeing again. This exemplifies a karama of al-Imam al-Ghazali which happened after his death.
"Al-Imam al-Yafii [d. Mecca, 768 A.H. (1367)] wrote in his book Rawd ar-riyahim: 'A wali prayed that the degrees of those in graves shall be shown to him. One night, many graves were shown to him:
Some lied on board, while others on silk bed or among fragrant flowers, and some were cheerful or laughing while others were crying. He heard a voice saying that these states of theirs were the recompense for their deeds in the world. Those good-tempered, martyrs, those who also performed nafila fasts, those who loved one another for Allah's sake, those who sinned and those who repented for their sins each were in different situations. The state of those in graves is shown to some awliya' while they are asleep and to some other awliya while awake.' In the book Kifayat al-mu'taqat, also by al-Imam al-Yafii (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih), it is written that some awliya' visited their fathers' graves and talked with them.
"In his book As-Sunnat, [Hibatullah] al-Lalkai [rahmat-Allahi 'alaih, d. 418 A.H. (1027)] quoted Yahya ibn Muin [al-Baghdadi ash-Shafi'i, d. Medina, 233 A.H. (848),] as saying, 'A grave digger friend of mine in whom I believed and trusted said that he witnessed many astonishing events. The one he was surprised most at was that a dead Muslim repeated the adhan recited by the muazzin.'
"Abu Nuaym [al-Isfahani 'alaih), d. 430 A.H. (1038)] wrote in his book Hilya that Said ibn Jubair said, 'We interred Thabit al-banani. Hamid at-Tawil was next to me. A brick of the grave fell off, and I saw Thabit performing salat in the grave. When he was alive, Thabit had always prayed, "Oh Allah! If You ever favor a servant of Yours with the karama of performing salat in his grave, favor me with it, too!" '
"Al-Imam at-Tirmidhi, Hakim and al-Baihaki quoted 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas as saying that he and some other Sahabis set up a tent somewhere while traveling. They did not know of the presence of a grave there. They heard someone recite Surat al-Mulk from beginning to end. When they arrived in Medina, they reported it to Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam), who said, 'This sura saves the dead from 'adhab.' Abu 'l-Qasim Sadi relates this in his book Ifsah and comments, 'This proves that a dead Muslim can recite the Qur'an in his grave.'
"[Muhammad] Ibn Mandah [rahmat-Allahi 'alaih, d. 395 A.H. (1005)] reported: Talha quoted Ubaid-Allah as saying that he was in the forest one evening. He sat by 'Abdullah ibn Amir ibn Hizam's grave, wherein, he heard, the Qur'an was being recited beautifully. Later he reported it to Rasulullah, who said, 'Oh 'Abdullah! When Allahu ta'ala takes the souls, they are kept at their places in Paradise. Every night they are left in their graves until morning.'
"When a human being dies, the soul does not die. The soul is a different being than the body. Its relation with the corpse in the grave does not end even after it becomes soil. Ignoramuses who have not read the books by the 'ulama' of Ahl as-Sunnat, the la-madhhabi and the heretics of the seventy-two groups who, as reported, will go to Hell do not know that the soul is a different being than the body. They suppose that, like a man's movements are lost when he dies, the soul also becomes non-existent as if it is an attribute or property of the body. They say that, like other human beings, awliya', too, die and become soil, and their being human and spiritual cease to exist. They do not show respect to their dead people but insult them. They deny getting blessed (baraka) and tawassul from awliya' by visiting their graves. One day, I was on my way to visit wali Arslan Dimishqi's grave; a heretic said to me, 'Is soil to be visited?' I was very surprised at this. Such words of a person who says he is Muslim grieved me a lot.
"A hadith ash-Sharif says, 'The grave is either a garden among the gardens of Paradise or a hollow among the hollows of Hell.' This hadith ash-Sharif openly explains that souls get united with rotten corpses and reveals that believers' graves are venerable and blessed. It is feared that one becomes a disbeliever if he blemishes or hears enmity against an alim.
"Both dead and living people are the creatures of Allahu ta'ala. None of them has an effect (tathir) on anything. The one who has an effect on everything is solely Allahu ta'ala. But, it is wajib to show respect (tazim) towards a Muslim whether he is alive or dead; because both the dead and the living Muslims are Allahu ta'ala's sha'air, and He orders us to show respect to them in the Qur'an al-karim: 'Respecting the sha'air of Allahu ta'ala stems from the hearts' taqwa.' 'Sha'air' means the 'things that remind, reflect Allahu ta'ala!' 'Ulama' and sulaha', both when alive and dead, are sha'air.
"Respectfulness towards 'ulama' and awliya' can be done in various ways. One of them is to make wooden coffins for them and to build domes over their graves. The size of their turbans and ampleness and cleanliness of their dresses are also intended for respecting them. In the book Jami' al-fatawa, it is written that constructing buildings and tombs over the graves of 'ulama', awliya' and sayyids is not makruh. In our opinion, it is permissible to put a coffin, cover and turban on the graves of awliya' so that they will not be hated but be respected, or with the intention of protecting them against insults and causing them to be venerated. In the time of Salaf as-salihin these were not done, but everybody showed respect to graves in those days. In the books of fiqh, it is written that, after the farewell tawaf, Masjid al-Haram should be left walking backwards and that this manner of leaving will indicate respect towards the Kaba. Salaf as-salihin did not use to leave by walking backwards, but their respect for the Kaba was not defective. The cover over the Kaba was not formerly done, and the fatwa rendering it permissible (mashru') was issued later. Similarly, putting covers over graves has become permissible. The Hadith ash-Sharif says, 'If one opens a beautiful [that is, conformable to Islam] way, he is given thawab also as much as that given to each of those who follow it.'
"It is written in Jami' al-Fatawa: 'We have not seen any narration reporting that it is sunnat or mustahab to put one's hand on graves. However, we cannot say that is not jaiz, either.' Those who say that it is haram have no evidence or document at all. In order to declare it as haram, one has to Submit proof from one of the adillat al-arba'a, that is, the Qur'an al-karim, the Hadith ash-Sharif, Ijma' al-Umma or Qiyas al-fuqaha'. The qiyas made by one who is not a mujtahid is of no value at all. Some ignoramuses say, 'If the graves of awliya' are respected, and if baraka and help are requested from them, some people may think that they can do whatever they wish and can affect like Allahu ta'ala. Thus, those who think so become disbelievers or polytheists. This is why we take preventive action and demolish their graves and tombs. By our insulting them in this way, the people are saved from becoming disbelievers or polytheists by seeing that they cannot protect themselves against insults.' This argument of the heretics is disbelief and resembles the words of Pharaoh, who is quoted in the 26th ayat of Surat al-Mumin as having said, 'Let me kill Musa. Let him protect himself against me by supplicating to his Rabb. I fear that he will change your religion and plot mischief on the earth.' These ignoramuses deny that Allahu ta'ala loves awliya' and that He will accept the prayers of those whom He loves and that He will create the wishes of their souls after they die. The ignoramuses are talking out of surmise, suspicion, illusion and imagination. They are not able do distinguish the truth from falsehood. One who is a Muslim cannot say that the Ummat al-Muhammadiyya of a thousand years have been in dalala (heresy). He cannot think ill of them. Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) did not expose any munafiqs, that is, those disbelievers who pretended to be Muslim, though he knew all of them. To those who asked him about them, he would say, 'We look at words, actions and appearance. Only Allahu ta'ala knows the hearts.' "[Kashf an-Nur min ashabil-qubur by Abd al-Ghani an-Nabulusi, d. 1143 A.H. Hand-written copy in the Sulaimaniyya Library, Istanbul. Magnificent first edition in Pakistan, Lahor, 1397 A.H. (1977); reproduced by photo-offset in a volume with the book Minhat al-Wahbiyya in Istanbul in 1398 A.H. (1978).]
If one hundred meanings can be derived from a statement or action of a Muslim, and if one of them indicates that he is a Muslim while ninety-nine of them show that he is a disbeliever, we have to say that he is a Muslim. That is, ninety-nine meanings that convey disbelief are ignored, and the meaning that indicates the presence of iman is taken into account. Therefore, one should not say "disbeliever" or "polytheist" for Muslims; he should not think ill of Muslims. This word of ours should not be misunderstood! In order not to misunderstand this, attention should be paid to two points. Firstly, the person whose statement or action is in question is noted to be a Muslim. In contrast, if not only one statement or action, but many statements or actions of a disbeliever indicates iman, he cannot be said to have become a Muslim. When a Frenchman praises the Qur'an al-karim, or a Briton says that there is only one Creator, or a German philosopher says that the best religion is Islam, it cannot be said that they are Muslims. In order for a disbeliever to become a Muslim, he has to say, "I believe in Allah. He is unique. Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) is the Prophet of Allah. He has sent him as the Prophet for all the people who will live all over the world till the end of the world. I have believed in everything," and immediately learn the six fundamentals of iman and 33 fards and believe all of them. The second point to pay attention to is what was said about one hundred meanings from a single statement or a single action. If, however, one out of a hundred statements or actions indicates iman while ninety-nine of them show disbelief, we are not ordered to call such a person a Muslim. Because, if only one statement or action of a person openly shows disbelief, that is, if it does not have a meaning that indicates the presence of iman, he is judged to be a disbeliever. He is not protected from disbelief and is not judged to be a Muslim by his other statements or actions that show the presence of iman in him.
See our Important Disclaimers and Legal Information