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A Great Principle

  Shaykh al-Islām Ibn Taymīyyah

Establishing clear principles defining the difference between the worship of those with īmān and the worship of those with nifāq (hypocrisy).

bismallah

  

  Therefore the lawful is what Allāh and His Messenger made lawful and the unlawful is what Allāh and His Messenger made unlawful and the religion is that which Allāh and His Messenger legislated.

 

[Excerpts from the book by Shaykh al-Islām  "Qaa`idatun Adheematun fī al-Farq bayn ʿĪbādah Ahl al-Īmān wa la-Islām wa Ahl ash-Shirk wa an-Nifaaq."]

Shaykh al-Islām said:

All praise and thanks are due to Allāh, we seek His Help and we seek His Forgiveness. We seek refuge with Him from the evil of our souls and the evil of our actions. Whosoever Allāh guides then none can misguide him, and whosoever Allāh leaves to stray then none can guide him. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship save Allāh, the One Who has no partner and we bear witness that Muḥammad (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) is his servant and Messenger.


CHAPTER ONE


Concerning the distinction between the worship of the adherents to Islām and possessors of faith, guidance, tawḥīd, sincerity, knowledge, divine legislation, those who follow the Prophets and Messengers and between the worship of those possessing shirk, ignorance, misguidance, innovation from amongst the polytheists and those who resemble them from the adherents of the different religions.


The worship of the Muslims is founded upon two principles:


The First: they do not worship anything save Allāh, the One Who has no partner.


The Second: they worship Him in the way He has ordered and legislated and has been conveyed by His Messengers.


So they worship Allāh without associating partners with him, they have taqwá of Him and they obey His Messengers. Allāh said:


"We sent Noah to his people (with the command): 'warn your people before there comes to them a grievous Punishment.' He said, 'O my people! I am to you a warner, clear and open that you should worship Allāh, fear Him and obey me.'" [Nūḥ (71): 1-3]


Similarly He mentioned that Hud, Ṣāliḥ and Shu`ayb said to their respective nations,


"Worship Allāh! You have no other god save Him." [Hud (11): 50]


He said concerning the Messiah,


"The Messiah said, 'O Children of Israel! Worship Allāh, my Lord and your Lord.' Indeed whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allāh then Allāh has forbidden Paradise for him and the Fire shall be his abode. And for the wrong-doers there are no helpers." [Maʾidah (5): 72]

"And indeed Allāh is my Lord and your Lord so worship Him (Alone). This is the Straight Path." [Maryam (19): 36]


Indeed every Messenger said,


"So fear Allāh, keep your duty to Him and obey me." [ash-Shu`araa (26): 108]


He said concerning the nation of Muḥammad (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam),


"They say: 'we have believed in Allāh and His Messenger and we obey' then a party of they turn away thereafter, such are not the believers." [an-Nur (24): 47]


"The only saying of the faithful believers when they are called to Allāh and His Messenger to judge between them is that they say: 'We hear and obey,' such are the successful. And whosoever obeys Allāh and His Messenger, fears Him and keeps his duty to Him such are the successful." [an-Nur (24): 51-52]


Hence appointing obedience to Allāh and the Messenger and appointing fear and taqwá for Allāh Alone. Allāh said,


"Would that they were contented with what Allāh and His Messenger gave them and had said, 'Allāh is sufficient for us. Allāh will give us of His Bounty and His Messenger. To Allāh do we turn our hopes." [al-Tawbah (9): 59]


Appointing the giving to Allāh and the Messenger. Similarly, the Exalted said,


"Whatsoever the Messenger gives then take it and whatsoever he forbids from then abstain from it." [al-Ḥashr (59): 7]


Therefore the lawful is what Allāh and His Messenger made lawful and the unlawful is what Allāh and His Messenger made unlawful and the religion is that which Allāh and His Messenger legislated.


Allāh appointed sufficiency and hope for Himself Alone in His sayings,


"Say: Allāh is sufficient for me, in Him let those who trust, put their trust." [az-Zumar (39): 38]


"But if they turn away, say: 'Allāh is sufficient for me. There is none worthy of worship but Him, in Him have I put my trust and He is the Lord of the Mighty Throne.'" [al-Tawbah (9): 129]


"And if they intend to deceive you, then indeed Allāh is All-Sufficient for you." [al-al-Anfāl (8): 62]


"They unto whom the (hypocrites) said: 'Verily the people have gathered against you (a great army) therefore fear them.' But it only increased them in faith and they said: 'Allāh (Alone) is sufficient for us and He is the best Disposer of affairs." [Āli `ʿImrān (3): 173]


Hence Allāh Alone is the recourse of the Messengers and the Believers in their entirety as Allāh says,


"O Prophet! Allāh is sufficient for you and for the believers who follow you." [al-al-Anfāl (8): 64]


Meaning that He Alone Suffices you and all those who follow you. This is the understanding of this verse according to the majority of the Salaf and later scholars.


So this is the religion of Islām, a religion any other than this is not accepted by Allāh - not from the first peoples or the later peoples. Islām is to worship Allāh at all times in the way that He has commanded - He is the sole object of worship. Allāh said,


"Allāh said: Take not two gods in worship. Indeed He is One God then fear Me (and Me Alone). To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth and to Him belongs perpetual sincere obedience. Will you then fear any other than Allāh? Whatsoever of blessings and good things you have, it is from Allāh. Then, when harm touches you, unto Him you cry aloud for help. Then, when He has removed the harm from you, behold! Some of you associate others in worship with their Lord. So (as a result of this) they deny the favours We have bestowed on them! Then enjoy 
yourselves but you will soon come to know!" [al-Naḥl (16): 51-55]


However the legislated laws have differed for example the case when the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) first prayed towards Bait al-Maqdis before the Hijrah and after the Hijrah for ten odd months and then Allāh had him change direction to face the Ka`ba. {1}Hence the legislated law changed but in both cases, before and after, the religion was one and the same. The religion of Islām - to worship Allāh Alone without any partners.


In Ṣaḥīḥ Bukhārī and Muslim that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said, "indeed we, the gathering of Prophets - our religion is one and the Prophets are paternal brothers." {2}


Meaning that their religion is one and the same even if the laws differ. Allāh said,


"Allāh has ordained for you the same religion which he ordained for Noah, and that which We have inspired in you and that which We ordained for Abraham, Moses, and Jesus saying: you should establish the religion and not make any divisions in it. Intolerable upon the polytheists is that which you call them to." [ash-Shura (42): 13]


"So set your face towards the religion of pure monotheism - the nature in which Allāh has created mankind. No change is there in the creation of Allāh. This is the straight religion but most men are unaware. (Always) turning in repentance to Him, and be afraid and dutiful to Him, establish the prayers perfectly and do not be of the polytheists. From those who split up their religion and became sects, each party rejoicing in what was with it." [ar-Rum (30) 30-32]


"O Messengers! Eat of the lawful and good things and do righteous deeds. Indeed I am well Acquainted with what you do. Indeed your religion is one religion and I am your Lord so keep your duty to Me." [al-Mu`minoon (23): 51-53]


Similarly He said with regards to the Prophets,


"Truly! This is religion is one religion and I am your Lord so worship Me." [al-Anbiyāʾ (21): 92]


The word 'ummah' has been explained to mean religion, i.e. 'your religion is one and the same', this is as Allāh says,


"Nay! They say: 'We found our fathers upon a religion (ummah) and we guide ourselves by following their footsteps. Similarly, We sent not a warner before you to any town but the affluent ones among them said: 'We found our fathers upon a religion (ummah) and we will guide ourselves by following their footsteps." [az-Zukhruf (43): 22-23]


If it said that the meaning of 'ummah' is people then the meaning still remains the same i.e. call all of mankind to worship Allāh Alone as Allāh says,


"Establish the religion and make no divisions." [ash-Shuraa (42): 13]


"And We did not send any Messenger before you but We inspired him (saying): There is none worthy of worship save Me, so worship Me (Alone)" [al-Anbiyāʾ (21): 25]


"And ask those of Our Messengers whom We sent before you: 'Did We ever appoint gods to be worshipped besides the Most Merciful?'" [az-Zukhruf (43): 45]


"And indeed We sent among every community (ummah) a Messenger (proclaiming): 'Worship Allāh (Alone) and avoid all that is worshipped besides Allāh." [al-Naḥl (16): 36]


"He sends down angels with inspiration of His Command to whom of His slaves He pleases (saying): 'Warn mankind that none has the right to be worshipped but Me, so fear Me." [al-Naḥl (16): 2]


Every Prophet was upon the religion of Islām as Allāh mentions about Noah that he said,


"But if you turn away, then no reward have I asked of you, my reward is only from Allāh and I have been commanded to be one of the Muslims." [Yunus (10): 72]


He mentioned concerning Ibrāhīm al-Khalīl,


"And who turns away from the religion of Ibrāhīm except he who fools himself? Truly We chose him in this world and indeed in the Hereafter he will be among the righteous. When his Lord said to him, 'submit,' he said, 'I have submitted (become a Muslim) to the Lord of the Universe.'" [al-Baqarah (2): 130-132]


Ibrāhīm and Ismaa`eel said,


"Our Lord! Make us Muslims and make of our offspring those who are Muslims" [al-Baqarah (2): 128]


He said concerning Mūsáa that he said,


"O my people! If you have believed in Allāh, then put your trust in Him if you are Muslims." [Yunus (10): 84]


He said concerning the magicians who believed in Mūsáa,


"And you take vengeance on us only because we believed in the signs of our Lord when they reached us! Our Lord! Pour out on us patience and cause us to die as Muslims." [al-Aʿrāf (7): 126]


"Indeed We sent down the Torah wherein was guidance and light by which the Prophet who submitted themselves to the Will of Allāh (became Muslims) judged the Jews." [al-Maʾidah (5): 44]


He said concerning Yusuf as-Siddīq that he said,


"... and cause me to die as a Muslim and join me with the righteous" [Yusuf (12): 101]


Bilqees said,


"My Lord! Verily I have wronged myself and I submit (in Islām) together with Solomon to Allāh the Lord of the Universe." [an-Naml (27): 44]


He said concerning the followers of the Messiah,


"And when I put into the hearts of the disciples (of Jesus) to believe in Me and My Messenger, they said: We believe and bear witness that we are Muslims." [al-Maʾidah (5): 111]


Allāh said,


"Allāh bears witness that none has the right to be worshipped but He, and the Angels and those having knowledge (also give this witness). (He is always) maintaining His creation with justice. None has the right to be worshipped save Him. Truly the religion in the Sight of Allāh is Islām." [Āli `ʿImrān (3): 18-19]


Qatādah said concerning His saying, "the only religion acceptable to Allāh is Islām" - "the testimony that none has the right to be worshipped save Allāh and to accept all that has come from Allāh. This is the the religion that He legislated for Himself and sent His Messengers with and guided His friends to. He does not accept any other religion and does not reward except one who follows it."


Allāh has censured the one who legislates a religion that He did not reveal, or declares something to be lawful or prohibited without any proof from the revelation saying,


"Or do they have partners with Allāh who have instituted a religion for them which Allāh has not allowed." [ash-Shuraa (42): 21]


He censured the polytheists for making unlawful what He had not declared to be unlawful and for making lawful what He had made unlawful thereby legislating a religion that He had not revealed saying,


"And when they commit an indecent action they say: 'We found our fathers doing it and Allāh has commanded us to it.' Say: 'Nay, Allāh never commands indecent actions. Do you say of Allāh that which you know not?' Say: 'My Lord has commanded justice and (said) that you should face the Qiblah in each and every place of worship during prayers. Supplicate to Him only making your religion sincerely for Him." [al-Aʿrāf (7): 28-29]


"Say: 'Who has forbidden the adornment with clothes given by Allāh which He has produced for His slaves and all good things?' Say: 'They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe and exclusively for them on the Day of Resurrection.' Thus We explain the signs in detail for the people who have knowledge. Say: 'The things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are all indecent actions, whether committed openly or secretly, sins of all kinds, oppression, joining partners with Allāh for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allāh of which you have no knowledge." [al-Aʿrāf (7): 32-33]


"Alif Lām Mīm Saad. A Book sent down to you so let not your breast be constricted therefrom, that you may warn thereby, and a reminder unto the believers. (Say): 'Follow what has been sent down to you from your Lord and do not follow any friends or protectors who besides Him. Little do you take heed!" [al-Aʿrāf (7): 1-3]


CHAPTER TWO


As for the religion of the Polytheists and the innovating People of the Book then this is a religion for which Allāh has sent down no authority. They either supplicate to others alongside Allāh or they say: 'we worship them only that they may make us draw closer to Allāh,' and they say: 'these are our intercessors with Allāh.' Or they worship Him in a way that He has not commanded or legislated - worshipping Him with what those whom they have set up as partners to Allāh command. Allāh said,


"They (Jews and Christians) took their rabbis and monks to be their lords besides Allāh, and they also took the Messiah son of Mary (to be their Lord) while they were commanded to worship none save One God. Glory be to Him (far above is He) from having the partners they associate." [al-Tawbah (9): 31]


"It is not for any human being to whom Allāh has given the Book and wisdom and Prophethood to say to the people: 'Be worshippers of me rather than Allāh.' On contrary (he would say): 'Be you learned men of the religion because you are teaching the book and studying it.' Neither would he order you to take Angels and Prophets as lords. Would he order you to disbelieve after you have submitted to the Will of Allāh?" [Āli `ʿImrān (3): 79-80]


"Say: 'Call unto those besides Him whom you pretend (to be gods). They have neither the power to remove the adversity from you nor even to shift it from you to another place. Those whom they call upon themselves seek and desire the means of approach to their Lord, as to which of them should be nearest and they hope for His Mercy and fear His Torment. Verily the Torment of your Lord is to be feared!" [al-Isrāʾ (17): 56-57]


Meaning that those people to whom the polytheists supplicate themselves are desiring and seeking a means of approach to draw close to their Lord. Ibn ʿAbbās and Mujāhid said, "they are `ʿĪsá and his mother, `Uzayr, the Angels, the sun, the moon and the stars." {3)


Ibn Mas`ud said, "a group of people used to worship a party of the Jinn. The Jinn then accepted Islām and the people who used to worship them were unaware of this and stuck to their worshipping them and Allāh condemned them." {4}


Therefore according to all the opinions concerning the meaning of this verse, Allāh censured whosoever supplicated to a created being when in fact that created being itself worships Allāh and seeks to draw close to Him - hoping and fearing Him. Included in this are all of the Angels, the Prophets and the righteous from amongst mankind and Jinns.


So if it is not permissible to supplicate to these creatures that have been exalted and are close to Allāh then it is even more the case that those disobedient to Allāh, such as the satans and jinns, cannot be supplicated to. The verse refers unrestrictedly to all who supplicate to other than Allāh.


He made clear that the person who is supplicated to is not able to remove any harm from the supplicator or even shift the harm to another place saying,

"Say: 'Call upon those whom you assert (to be gods) besides Allāh, they possess not even an atoms weight - either in the heavens of the earth, nor have they any share in either, nor is there for Him any supporter from among them. Intercession with Him is of no avail except for him who He permits." [as-Saba (34): 22-23]


Therefore Allāh explained that the created being does not have the sovereignty just as he does not have any share in it and just as he does not help Allāh in any form of fashion. All he can have is the ability to intercede but this intercession is of no avail unless Allāh grant him permission to intercede. Allāh said,


"And they worship besides Allāh things that hurt them not nor profit them and they say: 'these are our intercessors with Allāh.' Say: 'Do you inform Allāh of that which He knows not in the heavens and the earth?' Glorified be Allāh, Exalted is He above all that they associate with Him." [Yunus (10): 18]


"And warn therewith those who fear that they will be gathered before their Lord, when their will be neither a protector nor an intercessor for them besides Him." [al-An`aam (6): 51]


"But remind them with (the Qurʾān) lest a person be given up to destruction for that which he has earned, when he will find for himself no protector or intercessor besides Allāh." [al-An`aam (6): 70]


"Allāh, it is He Who created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in Six Days, then He Rose over the Throne. You have none besides Him as a protector or an intercessor, will you then no take heed?" [as-Sajdah (32): 4]


"Surely, your Lord is Allāh Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days and then Rose Over the Throne, disposing the affair of all things. No intercessor (can plead with Him) except after His leave. That is Allāh, your Lord; so worship Him (Alone) so will you not take heed?" [Yunus (10 ): 3]


"Who is there that can intercede with Him except after His permission?" [al-Baqarah (2): 255]


"And how many are the Angels in the heavens whose intercession will be of no avail except after Allāh has given leave for whomsoever He Wills and Pleases." [an-Najm (53): 26]


CHAPTER THREE


The misguided people call to the religion of some unknown entity not possessing any authority sent down from Allāh for what they call to. Allāh, the Exalted says,


Say: 'The things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are all indecent actions, whether committed openly or secretly, sins of all kinds, oppression, joining partners with Allāh for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allāh of which you have no knowledge." [al-Aʿrāf (7): 33]

"And they have assign a portion of that which We have provided them unto what they know not (false deities). By Allāh, you shall certainly be questioned about all that you used to fabricate." [al-Naḥl (16): 56]


Allāh said concerning the believers from amongst the people of Pharaoh that they said,


"And O my people! How is it that I call you to salvation while you call me to the Fire! You invite me to disbelieve in Allāh and to join partners with Him; that of which I have no knowledge, and I invite you to the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving. No doubt you call me to one who cannot grant me me request (or respond to me invocation) in this world or the Hereafter." [Ghāfir (40): 41-42]


Allāh said,


"And they worship besides Allāh others for which He has sent down no authority, and of that which they have no knowledge and the wrong-doers shall have no helpers." [al-Ḥajj (22): 71]


Authority means: the revelation that is sent down from Allāh. Allāh said,


"Or have We revealed to them a Scripture which speaks of that which they have been associating with Him?" [ar-Rum (30): 35]


"They are but names which you have names - you and your fathers - for which Allāh has sent down no authority." [an-Najm (53):23]


The religion that has been revealed is none other than the religion that Allāh, the Mighty and Magnificent, has legislated whereas the people of misguidance follow a religion that does not concord to the legislation that has been revealed and neither do they have knowledge of it. Indeed all they do is follow their vain desires and all they find that would satisfy their base desires.


This is why the true scholars enjoin one to follow the Legislation and knowledge and they censure the worshipers who do not follow these two things just as Allāh said,


"And they worship besides Allāh other for which He has sent down no authority and of that which they have no knowledge and the wrong-doers shall have no helpers." [al-Ḥajj (22): 71]


This is why Allāh demanded knowledge and authority from the misguided in His words,


"Say: 'Has he forbidden the two males or the two females, or (the young) which the wombs of the two females enclose? Inform me with knowledge if you are truthful." [al-An`aam (6): 143]


Hence explaining that the truthful one is the one who is upon certain knowledge of what he says and believes, whereas the one who has no knowledge to back what he says and believes is spreading lies against Allāh. Allāh says,


"Say: 'Tell me what provision Allāh has sent down to you! And you have made of it lawful and unlawful.' Say: 'Has Allāh permitted you, or do you invent a lie against Allāh?" [Yunus (10): 59]


"And say not concerning that which you tongues put forth falsely: 'this is lawful and this is unlawful' so as to invent lies against Allāh. Indeed those invent lies against Allāh will never prosper." [al-Naḥl (16): 116]


"O Mankind! Eat of that which is good and lawful on the earth and follow not the footsteps of Satan. Indeed he is to you and open enemy. He commands you only to what is evil and indecent and that you should say against Allāh what you know not." [al-Baqarah (2): 168-169]


"O People of the Scripture! Do not exceed the limits in your religion, nor say of Allāh aught but the truth." [Sūrah al-Nisāʾ (4): 171]


"Then after them succeeded an evil generation who inherited the Book but they chose (for themselves) the goods of this low life saying: 'everything will be forgiven us.' And if again the offer of the similar goods came their way they would again seize them. Was not the covenant of the Book taken from them that they would not say about Allāh anything but the truth? And they have studied what is in the Book and the Home of the Hereafter is better for those who are God-fearing. Do you not then understand? And as to those who hold fast to the Book and establish the prayers, certainly, We shall never waste the reward of those who do righteous deeds." [al-Aʿrāf (7): 169-170]


CHAPTER FOUR


There are two types of people who report ḥadīth from the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam): the trustworthy and precise; and those who are not trustworthy and precise.


From amongst this second category are those who deliberate lies while most of them do not do this but it is possible that one of them narrate a lie due to having weak memory. The scholars have criticized both these types of people [in this second category] in order to preserve the religion from addition and subtraction.


As for those who speak based upon their opinions, research, understanding, and what their hearts find contentment with then their words are of two types: whatsoever agrees with the Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) then it is the truth and whatsoever opposes him is in error. Most of these people do not deliberately err but do so unintentionally but there are some who deliberately say something that is not true knowing that the truth lies elsewhere.


CHAPTER FIVE


The best of creation after the Prophets, those with the most complete knowledge and religion, those who clung firmest to the rope of Allāh and who followed the religion of Islām most closely were the Companions of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam).


Indeed the nation of Muḥammad (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) is the best of nations, and the Companions are the best of the nation of Muḥammad (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) as is established in the Ṣaḥīḥ with a number of different wordings that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said, "the best of generations is the generation in which I have been sent, then those who follow them, then those who follow them." {5}


Allāh, the Glorious, has informed us that He is Pleased with the fore-runners and is Pleased with those who follow them in good saying,


"The fore-runners, the first to embrace Islām of the Muhājirūn and the Ansār, and those who followed them in good. Allāh is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success." [al-Tawbah (9): 100]


These fore-runners are those who gave the pledge of allegiance under the tree and they were the one who gave in charity from the beginning and they were the ones who fought (alongside the Messenger) in all the battles before the conquest of Hudaybiyyah.

Allāh said,


"Not equal among you are those who spent and fought before the conquest (with those among you who did so after). Such are higher in degree than those who spent and fought afterwards. But to all Allāh has promised the best reward and Allāh is All-Aware of what you do." [al-Ḥadīd (57): 10]


It is established in Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said, "whosoever gave the pledge of allegiance under the tree shall not enter the Fire." {6}


In Ṣaḥīḥ Bukhārī and Muslim from Jābir that "the Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said to us on the Day of Hudaybiyyah, 'you are the best people on the face of the earth,' and we numbered fourteen hundred and if I could see now I would show you the place under the Tree (where we gave our pledge of allegiance)." {7}


It was these people and those who followed them that Allāh promised the best reward.


The way of the Companions of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) was that they would worship Allāh Alone in the way they were commanded by their Prophet. Therefore the lawful was what he made to be lawful, the unlawful was what he prohibited and the religion comprised of only what he legislated. They prayed the five daily prayers at their correct times in congregation in the Mosques as they had been ordered to do so by Allāh. They fasted the month of Ramaḍān, they performed the Ḥajj to the Ancient House, they gave in Zakāh, they enjoined the good and forbade the evil and they performed Jihād in the Way of Allāh. They worshipped Allāh through doing everything that their Prophet ordered them to do, they did not worship any save Allāh and they did not supplicate to anything else alongside Allāh - not anything in the heavens or the earth, not the Angels, the stars, the Prophets and those who resembled them most after them. Rather they knew that doing any of this was from associating partners with Allāh which Allāh and His Messenger had explicitly forbidden.


They did not supplicate to a created object, nor an Angel, or a Jinn, or a man be he a Prophet or other than a Prophet - neither at his grave nor in his absence. They did not seek help except with Allāh and they did not seek victory except with Allāh. They did not put their trust in anything other than Allāh and they did not supplicate to any created being be he absent or dead, neither did they seek succour and relief with him, they did not complain to him and they did not seek forgiveness, guidance or victory from him. Rather they sought all of this from Allāh Alone.


They did not do what the Christians used to do and seek intercession with the Angels or the Prophets and the righteous who have passed away at their graves or away from their graves. Not one of them called out saying, "O Jibrīl, O Meekaa`eel intercede for me with Allāh," just as they did not say, "O Ibrāhīm, O Mūsáa, O `ʿĪsá, intercede for me with Allāh," as was done by the Christians. Instead they knew that nothing is to be sought from the absent and the one who has died. They knew that the Angels do nothing except that which Allāh commanded them to do and they do not intercede except for the one with whom the Lord is Pleased. The same being true for the Prophets and the righteous. However it is possible to seek supplication or intercession from them during their lifetimes as the Companions used to so with the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) and as the creation will seek intercession from him on the Day of Judgement. Abūndant peace and blessings be upon him.


CHAPTER SIX


They used to pray the five daily prayers behind the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) and behind others from the Imāms. There used to be a mosque for every inhabitation of the Ansār and they used to have an Imām behind whom they prayed the prayers with the exception of Jumu`ah and `Eid which they prayed behind the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam). These were the inhabitants of Madīnah. Madīnah was a large area having no defined boundary, rather it consisted of places dispersed over an area, each tribe had their own area with a Mosque, graveyard and homes that were used to differentiate between the area of another tribe. The title 'Madīnah' included all of this and the only people that were not included under this name were the Bedouin Arabs. Allāh said,


"Certain of the desert Arabs round about you are hypocrites as well as among the inhabitants of Madīnah." [al-Tawbah (9): 101]


Those who tilled the land were from amongst the inhabitants of Madīnah and they were none other than the Ansār. The living area of each tribe was called 'home' (daar) and the meaning of 'home' here referred to the tribe itself. The Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) ordered that Mosques be built in each of these 'homes' and that they should be cleaned and scented.


In the authentic ḥadīth there occurs, "Madīnah is sanctified between `Ayr and Thawr." {8} Ayr is a mountain near Dhul Haleefah and its rear side resembles the back of an `ayr which is a donkey. Thawr is a small mountain near Uhud and it does not refer to Mount Thawr that is in Mecca. This ḥadīth fooled some scholars into thinking that Madīnah constituted everything from `Ayr to Mount Thawr in Mecca. He (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said, "I sanctify whatsoever lies between its two mountains" {9} And the Arab said to him, "there is no family between the two mountains of Madīnah who is poorer than us." {10}


Hence everything between its two mountains constitutes Madīnah and that is what lies between `Ayr and Thawr.


The Companions used to invoke prayers (ṣalāh) and peace (salām) upon the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) in their daily prayers as ordered by Allāh and His Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) saying in their tashahhud, "peace be upon you O Prophet, and the Mercy of Allāh and His Blessings." {11}


They used to invoke blessings upon him in the way that he (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) taught them, for example their saying, "O Allāh send Your prayers upon Muḥammad and upon the family of Muḥammad just as You sent your prayers upon the family of Abraham, indeed you are the Praiseworthy, the Glorious. And send Your blessings upon Muḥammad and the family of Muḥammad just as you sent Your blessings upon the family of Abraham, indeed you are the Praiseworthy, the Glorious." {12}


This ḥadīth as also been reported with the wording, "just as You sent Your prayers upon Abraham" {13}


It has also been reported with the wording, "just as You sent Your prayers upon Abraham and the family of Abraham." {14}


It is established from him (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) in the Ṣaḥīḥ that he said, "whosoever invokes prayers upon me once, Allāh sends prayers upon him ten times." {15}


A similar ḥadīth is reported with regards to sending peace upon him that whosoever sends peace upon him once, Allāh sends peace upon him ten times. {16}


Therefore when they invoked prayers and peace upon him (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam), Allāh sent prayers and peace upon them (ten times).

This invocation of peace (salām) [said in the prayer and in the absence of the Prophet] was not of the type that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) would reply to, rather the type of salām that he replied to was when they met him and greeted him. As for the salām said in the prayer then this was like the invocation of prayers (ṣalāh) upon him in the prayer - it was Allāh who replied to them tenfold.


When the Allāh caused His Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) to pass away the Companions continued upon what they were upon during his lifetime. They and the Taabi`een used to pray behind Abū Bakr, ʿUmar, `Uthmān and `ʿAlī in his (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) Mosque just as they used to pray behind others. However these four led the prayers in his Mosque - Abū Bakr and ʿUmar until they died, `Uthmān until he was besieged and `ʿAlī before he moved to Iraq. The pledge of allegiance was given to these four in his Mosque and this is why Imām Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal said, "every pledge of allegiance that was given in Madīnah was for the Khilāfah upon the Prophetic way."


They continued praying the five daily prayers and invoking ṣalāh and salām upon him in them. They used to supplicate to Allāh during the prayers and outside of the prayers knowing that this was sufficient for them and in fact sufficed them from anything else from those matters that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) had not commanded or legislated.


When he (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) died, he was buried in the room of Āʿishah, in the same room in which he became ill. The rooms of his wives were to the east and to the rear of his Mosque, joining on to the Mosque. Allāh mentioned them in His saying,


"Those who call out to you from without the Inner Apartments, most of them lack understanding." [al-al-Ḥujurāt (49): 4]


These houses belonged to him and his wives. Allāh mentioned this in His sayings,


"O you who believe! Do not enter the houses of the Prophet until leave is given you." [al-Aḥzāb (33): 53]


"And stay quietly in your houses..." [al-Aḥzāb (33): 33]


In Two Ṣaḥīḥs from Āʿishah (raḍī Allāhu ʿanhū) that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said during the illness from which he died, "Allāh cursed the Jews and the Christians, they took the graves of their Prophets as Mosques."{17} And via another route, "except that he feared that it would be taken as a Mosque." {18}


Āʿishah said, "had it not been for this his grave would have been raised but it was feared that it would be taken as a Mosque," {19} the wording of Bukhārī has, "except that I feared it would be taken as a Mosque." {20}


In Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim from the ḥadīth of Jundub ibn ʿAbdullāh that he heard the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) saying five days before he died, "I stand acquitted before Allāh that I should take a beloved friend (khaleel) from amongst you for indeed Allāh has taken me as His beloved friend just as He took Abraham as a beloved friend. If I had taken a beloved friend from my nation then I would have taken Abū Bakr. Indeed those who came before you took the graves of their Prophets and Righteous as Mosques, do not take graves as Mosques for indeed I forbid you from this." {21}


In the Two Ṣaḥīḥs from Āʿishah and ibn ʿAbbās that they said, "when the Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) was about to breathe his last he drew his sheet upon his face. When he felt uneasy he uncovered his face and said, 'the curse of Allāh be upon the Jews and Christians, they took the graves of their Prophets as Mosques,' warning from their practice." {22}


In the Two Ṣaḥīḥs from Abū Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said, "may Allāh destroy the Jews and Christians, they took the graves of their Prophets as Mosques." {23} The wording of Muslim has, "Allāh cursed the Jews and Christians, they took the graves of their Prophets as Mosques." {24}


In the Musnad and Ṣaḥīḥ Abī Ḥātim that he said, "from the worst of people are those upon whom the Hour will be established and those who took graves as Mosques." {25}


In the Muwaṭṭa of Mālik that he (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said, "O Allāh do not make my grave an idol that is worshipped. The Anger of Allāh was severe upon a people who took the graves of their Prophets as Mosques." {26}


In the Sunan of Abū Dāwūd and other from the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) that he said, "do not take my grave as a place of festivity and invoke prayers upon me wheresoever you may be for indeed they are conveyed to me." {27}


In the Sunan of Saʿīd ibn Mansoor that ʿAbdullāh ibn Ḥasan ibn Ḥasan ibn [ʿAlī ibn] Abī Ṭālib{28} - and he is from the most noble Ḥasans during the period of the tab`a taabi`een - that he saw a person frequenting the grave of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) and said, "O person indeed the Messenger of Allāh said, "do not take my grave as a place of festivity and invoke prayers upon me wheresoever you may be for indeed they are conveyed to me." You and a person in Andulus are equivalent with regards to this." {29}


In the Sunan of Abū Dāwūd and others from Aws ibn Aws ath-Thaqafī that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said, "frequent the ṣalāh upon me on the day and night of Jumu`ah for indeed your ṣalāh is presented to me." They said, 'O Messenger of Allāh how can our ṣalāh be presented to you after you have passed away?' He replied, "indeed Allāh has forbidden the earth from eating the flesh of the Prophets." {30}


In al-Nasāʿī and ibn Hibbān and others from ibn Mas`ud from the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) that he said, "indeed Allāh has Angels roaming the earth who convey to me the salām of my nation." {31}


We have been informed that the ṣalāh and salām reaches him from near and far through his saying, "send ṣalāh upon me from wheresoever you may be for indeed your ṣalāh is conveyed to me," and his saying, "do not take my grave as a place of festivity." Similarly the salām reaches him from near and far as in his saying, "indeed Allāh has Angels roaming the earth who convey to me the salām of my nation."

So when every Muslim says in his prayer, "peace be upon you O Prophet, and the blessings and mercy of Allāh" then this reaches him (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam).


The Companions and the Taabi`een knew that this salām was better and more virtuous then the salām said to him (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) at his grave to which he replied because the salām said upon greeting is shared by the Muslims as occurs in the ḥadīth, "there is not a person who passes by the grave of someone who he knew while alive except that Allāh returns his soul to him so that he may reply to the salām." {32}


However the salām through which one worships in the prayer, which in fact one has been commanded to say in prayer, is answered by Allāh tenfold whereas this other type of salām that is said is answered by him (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) just as he would have answered during his lifetime.


All of the Companions used to send salām upon him in every prayer and on some occasions used to go to him and extend the salām to him. So the first salām has been ordered by Allāh to be said in every prayer whereas the second type of salām has only been legislated upon meeting him. The reward of the first type of salām is greater because Allāh returns the salām tenfold whereas only the Messenger answers the second type.


He also taught them to say upon entering the Mosque, "with the Name of Allāh, peace be upon the Messenger of Allāh, O Allāh forgive me my sins and open for me the gates of Your Mercy," and upon leaving the Mosque to say, "with the Name of Allāh, peace be upon the Messenger of Allāh, and open for me the gates of Your Bounty." {33}


Many people took the graves of their Prophets as places of festivities and as objects of worship and through them committed shirk with Allāh after their death whereas during their lifetimes it was impossible for any of them to commit shirk through them or to take them as lords (besides Allāh). This is why the Companions of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) and those who followed them strictly adhered to the tawḥīd with which Allāh sent His Messenger, they avoided all that he forbade them from such as shirk and the means of falling into it. They followed his command to prohibit people (from doing this) by his grave so that shirk would not occur through him. Therefore the performance of evil near him was prevented after his death just as it was prevented during his (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) lifetime.


This is one of his excellent qualities and one of the excellent qualities of his nation for there is no Prophet after him and his nation cannot gather and unite upon misguidance. If his grave were to be raised then many ignorant people would desire to take it as a Mosque, an idol and a place of festivity. Instead he was buried in the room, hidden away from the people and therefore no one was able to commit shirk through him and neither to take him as an idol or perform any evil near his grave. Hence this situation became specific to him - not shared by anyone else (who was righteous for shirk was committed through them). This is because his Mosque was built upon taqwá, and it is legislated to make a journey to it, and performing worship in it is of extra merit and there is no Mosque near the grave of any other to which it is legislated journey to, indeed many of those other Mosques have been built as a result of graves and this is prohibited, the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) warned his nation from this, cursing those who did it.


The Mosque of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) was built upon taqwá, and it is the best of Mosques after the Holy Mosque and it is said: rather it is the best of all Mosques. To perform prayer in it is better than a thousand prayers in any other Mosque (except the Holy Mosque) and journeying to it is legislated and recommended.


As for enacting the prohibited matters then this is not possible to be done by his grave. It is not possible for anyone to visit his grave and travel to it as it is possible for them to visit any other grave such that they can do whatever (prohibited matter) they desire. It is established in the Ṣaḥīḥ that he (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said, "do not sit on the graves and do not pray towards them." {34} Also he forbade people from taking the graves as Mosques as has just preceded. The reason for all of this is because the basis for the shirk that occurred amongst the children of Ādam was by their committing shirk through the graves of their righteous. The first shirk that appeared was amongst the people of Nūḥ. ʿAbdullāh ibn ʿAbbās (raḍī Allāhu ʿanhū) said, "between Ādam and Nūḥ were ten generations all of them upon Islām." {35}It is also established in the Ṣaḥīḥ that the people will say on the Day of Judgement (while asking for intercession), "O Nūḥ you are the first Messenger that Allāh sent to the inhabitants of the earth."{36}


This is why Allāh did not mention a Messenger who came before Nūḥ and neither did He mention a nation that was destroyed before the nation of Nūḥ. Allāh said, while narrating his story,


"They said: 'do not abandon your gods, abandon not Wadd, Suwa, Yaguth, Ya`uq and Naṣr.' They have already misled many; and do not increase the wrong-doers in anything save misguidance." [Nūḥ (71): 23-24]


A group of the Salaf said, from amongst them Muḥammad ibn Ka`b al-Qardhee, "these were the names of a righteous people who lived some time between Ādam and Nūḥ. When they died they had a following who followed them and took to their way of worship. Then Iblīs came to them and said, 'if only you depicted forms for them then this would increase your eagerness to worship.' They did this, then a people arose after them and Satan came to them and said, 'indeed those who came before you used to worship them' and so they worshipped them." Reported by Abd ibn Humaid in his tafsīr from Muḥammad ibn Ka`b. {37}


This then was the beginning of the worship of statues and these statues were called by these names (mentioned in the verse) because these statues were made in the forms of those Muslims.


Bukhārī mentions in his Ṣaḥīḥ from `Ataa from ibn ʿAbbās who said, "the idols that were worshipped by the People of Nūḥ also came to be worshipped by the Arab who came after. As for the idol Wadd, it was worshipped by the tribe of Kalb at Dawmatul Jandal. Suwa was the idol of Bani Hudhayl and Yaguth was the idol of the tribe of Muraad and then by Bani Ghutaif at al-Jurf near Saba. Ya`uq was the idol of Himyr." {38}


FOOTNOTES:

{1} Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim [Eng. Trans. 1/267 no.'s 1071-1075 ]

{2} Ṣaḥīḥ Bukhārī [Eng. Trans. 4/434 no.'s 651,652], Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim [Eng. Trans. 4/1260 no.'s 5834-5836]

{3} Refer to 'ad-Durr al-Manthoor' [4/189-190]

{4}ibid.

{5} A similar wording has been reported by Bukhārī [Eng. Trans. 5/2 no. 3] and Muslim [Eng. Trans. 4/1345 no.'s 6150-6159]

{6} A similar wording has been reported by Muslim [Eng. Trans. 4/1332 no. 6090] and al-Tirmidhī [5/357]

{7} Reported by Bukhārī [Eng. Trans. 5/337 no. 475] and a similar wording has been reported by Muslim [Eng. Trans. 3/1035 no. 4580]

{8} Reported by Bukhārī [Eng. Trans. 3/56 no. 97] with similar wording and Muslim [Eng. Trans. 2/688 no. 3163]

{9} A similar wording is reported by Bukhārī [Eng. Trans. 3/54 no. 93] and the wording given is that of Muslim [Eng. Trans. 2/686 no. 3153]

{10} Reported by Bukhārī [Eng. Trans. 3/89 no.157] with the words 'Ahwaj' instead of 'Afqar' and Muslim [Eng. Trans. 2/540 no. 2457]

{11} Reported by Bukhārī [Eng. Trans. 1/441 no. 794] and Muslim [Eng. Trans. 1/221 no. 793]

{12} Reported by Bukhārī [Eng. Trans. 6/302 no. 320] and Muslim [Eng. Trans. 1/223 no.'s 803-808]

{13} Reported by Bukhārī [Eng. Trans. 6/303 no. 321] and Muslim [Eng. Trans. 1/223 no. 807]

{14} Reported by Bukhārī [Eng. Trans. 6/303 no. 322]

{15} Reported by Muslim [Eng. Trans. 1/224 no. 808]

{16} Reported by al-Nasāʿī [3/44] with the wording, "no one sends peace upon you except that I send peace upon him ten times," and it was declared ḥasan by al-Albānī in 'Ṣaḥīḥ al-Nasāʿī' [1/274]

{17} Reported by Bukhārī [Eng. Trans. 2/267 no. 472] and Muslim [Eng. Trans. 1/268 no. 1079]

{18} Reported by Bukhārī [Eng. Trans. 2/267 no. 472]

{19} A similar wording is reported by Muslim [Eng. Trans. 1/268 no. 1079]

{20} Reported by Bukhārī [Eng. Trans. 2/232 no. 414]

{21} Reported by Muslim [Eng. Trans. 1/269 no. 1083]

{22} Reported by Bukhārī [Eng. Trans. 1/255 no. 427] and Muslim [Eng. Trans. 1/269 no. 1082]

{23} Reported by Bukhārī [Eng. Trans. 1/255 no. 428] and Muslim [Eng. Trans. 1/269 no. 1080]

{24} Reported by Muslim [Eng. Trans. 1/269 no. 1081]

{25} Aḥmad [1/435] and Aḥmad Shākir said in his notes to the Musnad, "its isnād is ṣaḥīḥ."[5/324]

{26} al-Muwaṭṭa [1/244]. Aḥmad [2/246] also reports the ḥadīth from Abū Hurayrah with the words, "O Allāh do not make my grave an idol that is worshipped. Allāh cursed a people who took the graves of their Prophets as Mosques." Aḥmad Shākir said in his notes upon the Musnad, "its isnād is ṣaḥīḥ." [13/86]

{27} Abū Dāwūd [Eng. Trans. 2/542 no. 2037] and it was declared ṣaḥīḥ by al-Albānī in Ṣaḥīḥ al-Jāmiʿ` [2/1211]

{28} He is the noble, trustworthy and precise scholar. He died in the year 145H at the age of 75. Refer to 'Taqreeb at-Tahdheeb' [no. 3292]

{29} Shaykh al-Islām said in his book, 'ar-Radd ʿalá al-Akhnaa`ee' [pg. 93], "and Saʿīd also said - i.e. Saʿīd ibn Mansoor - ʿAbd al ʿAzīz ibn Muḥammad reported to us that Suhail ibn Abī Suhail said, 'al-Ḥasan ibn Ḥasan ibn ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib saw me at the grave and called to me from the house of Fāṭimah when it was close to the time of `ʿIshāʾa saying, "come to `ʿIshāʾa!" I replied, "I do not wish to." He said, "why do I see you by the grave?" I said, "I sent my salām upon the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam)." He replied, "when you enter the Mosque then send your salām upon him for the Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said, "do not take my grave as a place of festivities and invoke prayers upon me wheresoever you may be for indeed they are conveyed to me." Therefore you and a person in Andulus are equivalent (with regards to this).'

Qaadee Ismaa`eel ibn Ishāq reported this in his 'Fadl al-al-Ṣalāh `ʿalá an-Nabī (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam)' without mentioning the addition, "you and a person in Andulus are equivalent (with regards to this)." This is because his opinion is that it is better for the one who is leaving or returning from a journey to send the salām upon him from the side of the grave and that those outside of Madīnah send their salāms upon him when entering and leaving the Mosque and therefore the people of Madīnah have a ranking above those outside Madīnah with regard to this. As for al-Ḥasan ibn al-Ḥasan and others then they did not differentiate between the inhabitants of Madīnah and those outside Madīnah and neither between the traveler and the resident." Refer to 'Fadl al-al-Ṣalāh `ʿalá an-Nabī (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam)' [no. 20, 30] of Qaadee Ismaa`eel ibn Ishāq.

Ibn Abī Shaybah [4/345] reported a similar wording without the addition, "you and a person..." and likewise Abdur Razzaaq [3/577] in his 'Mūsánnaf'.

{30} Reported by Abū Dāwūd [Eng. Trans. 1/269 no. 1042], ibn Mājah [1/524], Aḥmad [4/2] and al-Ḥākim [1/278] who said, 'it is ṣaḥīḥ, meeting the criteria of Bukhārī' and al-Dhahabī agreed.

{31} Reported by al-Nasāʿī [2/43], ibn Hibbān [2/134] and declared ṣaḥīḥ by al-Albānī in 'Ṣaḥīḥ al-Jāmiʿ [1/434]

{32} A similar ḥadīth is reported by al-Bayḥaqī in 'ash-Shu`ab', ibn Abī ad-Dunya in 'al-Quboor', as-Saaboonee in 'al-Mi`atayn', ibn ʿAbd al Barr in 'al-Istidhkaar' and 'al-Tamhīd' and was declared ṣaḥīḥ by ʿAbd al Ḥaqq as mentioned by al-Ṣuyutī in 'Sharḥ as-Sudoor' [pg. 84]. Ibn al-Qayyim mentioned that ibn ʿAbd al Barr declared it ṣaḥīḥ in 'ar-Ruh' [pg. 8]

{33} Reported by ibn Mājah [1/253] and Aḥmad [6/283]. The ḥadīth was declared ṣaḥīḥ by al-Albānī in 'Ṣaḥīḥ ibn Mājah' [1/128-129]

{34} Reported by Muslim [Eng. Trans. 2/460 no. 2121]

{35} Ibn Jarīr reports a similar narration in his tafsīr [4/275] and al-Ḥākim [2/546] who said that it was ṣaḥīḥ according to the conditions of Bukhārī and Muslim and al-Dhahabī agreed.

{36} Bukhārī reports a similar ḥadīth to this [Eng. Trans. 6/198 no. 236] and Muslim [Eng. Trans.]

{37} Mentioned by al-Ṣuyutī in 'ad-Durr al-Munthoor' [6/269]

{38} Reported by Bukhārī [Eng. Trans. 6/198 no. 236]. Al-Ḥāfiẓ ibn Hajr al-Asqʿalánee said in 'Fath' [6/83],

 

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