The story of Ar-Rifaa’i shaking hands with the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam
Fatwa No: 186999

Question

Assalamualikum, is this incident authentic and can this happen? please reply in detail, ESPECIALLY if there is problem in the chain of narrators Jala al din suyuti ash-Shafiee, in his treatise entitled Sharaf-e Mukhtam, has written with the sequence of authorities, reporting from shakh kamal al-din and he from shaykh shams al-din Jazri and he from shaykh Zayn al-din Maraghi and he from shaykh azz al-din Ahmed farooqi and he from his father shaykh azz al-din umar(mbuh) that he (the last named) was accompanying, in A:H: 555 , sayyid ahmed kabir rifai in the journey for hajj. when he(rifai) reached Madina and approached the holy tomb, he made a salutation in the following words: " peace be on you, O maternal grand father!" the answe came from there : " peace on u, too, O my son!" All the people present in the mosque heard this. THe asnwer cause an intense ecstasy in sayyid ahmed rifai and he went on weeping for a long time, and then, with intense desire, he submitted : O Sire! in the state of distance I used to send my soul in ur presence.Being my deputy, it used to kiss the ground before u. Now has come the turn of the body; so kindly stretch your auspicious right hand now so that my lips may kiss it. Immediately the Prophets auspicious hand appeared with gleam and fragrance, thousends of men beheld it and sayyid rifai kissed it. (M. Buhur, p 186)

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

We have already clarified that the story of Ar-Rafaa’i shaking hands with the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is among the lies and the false claims propagated by the Sufis to deceive the public, especially the stories written by the followers of the Ahmadiyyah Tareeqah about their Shaykh Ahmad Ar-Rifaa’i.

Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “This group exaggerate, commit Shirk [associating partners to Allaah] and deviate from the Sharee’ah, and they share some characteristics with the Raafidhah (Shiite sect), and they lie nearly or exactly like them or even more than them. Indeed, they are among the sects that lie most, to an extent that it was said about them: “Do not say that someone lies more than the Jews do about Allaah, but say that he lies more than the followers of the Ahmadiyyah Tareeqah do about their Shaykh!

On the other hand, the paper (Ash-Sharaf Al-Muhattam) is unlikely to have been authored by As-Suyooti as there is much doubt about attributing it to him. Shaykh Abdullaah Al-Ghumaari Al-Hasani wrote a paper entitled "An-Naqd Al-Mubram Li Risaalat Ash-Sharaf Al-Muhattam” to prove the invalidity of the Karaamah (extraordinary event) of the stretched hand (i.e. the claim that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alyhi wa sallam, stretched his hand from his grave to Shaykh Ahmad Ar-Rifaa’i) as well as the invalidity of attributing the paper Ash-Sharaf Al-Muhattam to As-Suyooti.

Ibn Katheer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote the biography of Ar-Rafaa’i in his book entitled "Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah", but he did not mention this story; also An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him   did not mention it.

Moreover, some researchers mentioned that some books that were written about the biography of As-Suyooti did not mention this paper among his numerous writings. Furthermore, As-Suyooti himself did not mention it among his papers and books when he wrote his own biography in his book entitled “Husn Al-Muhaadharah”.

In addition, this alleged paper contains errors that could never be made by As-Suyooti  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him such as his comment on the Hadeeth “I passed by Moosa (Moses  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention) on the night of my ‘Israa’ (night journey from Makkah to Jerusalem) at the red dune while he was standing in his grave praying”; that it was narrated by Ibraaheem in Al-Hilyah; while the Hadeeth is in Saheeh Muslim. Moreover, the author of Al-Hilyah is Abu Nu’aym Ahmad Ibn Abdullaah Al-Asbahaani and not Ibraaheem.

Therefore, it is utterly unlikely that As-Suyooti who was well-known for authoring compilations and books of Hadeeth and Takhreej (referring each Hadeeth to its sources), such as Al-Jaami’ Al-Kabeer, Al-Jaami’ As-Sagheer, Al-Khasaa'is, Ad-Durr Al-Manthoor, would refer this Hadeeth to Al-Hilyah and even make a mistake about the name of its author.

Allaah Knows best.

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