Statement of Ibn Abd Al-Haadi about visiting Prophets' graves
Fatwa No: 355585

  • Fatwa Date:29-12-2017 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 11, 1439
  • Rating:

Question

As-Subki quoted the following from Ibn Al-‘Arabi: "But the visitor of a grave should not seek to benefit from the deceased, because this is an innovation. Benefiting is only allowed from the grave of Prophet Muhammad and other Prophets." [Sharh Al-Muwatta by Ibn Al-‘Arabi, As-Saarim Al-Munki chapter 4] Ibn Abdul-Haadi replied in great detail. Please, if you could summarize his answer, it would be a great help for the Muslim community, especially for those who speak English.

Answer

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

The quotation cited in As-Saarim Al-Munki from As-Subki is the statement of Ash-Shaarmsaahi. Al-Haafith Ibn ‘Abd Al-Haadi refuted his statement aptly. He  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him first affirmed that it is true that seeking to benefit from the graves of the dead, other than the Prophets of Allah, is a religious innovation and even a means leading to Shirk (polytheism). He highlighted that the permissible visit of the graves is the one meant for supplicating Allah in favor of the deceased hoping that the deceased would benefit from his supplications, and that the visitor only benefits from his own good deeds and efforts.

He  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote:

"What Allah, the Exalted, prescribed for the Muslims is to supplicate in favor of the deceased when performing the funeral prayer and when visiting the grave, and not to supplicate the deceased himself or specifically recite the supplications at the grave. This is the Sunnah of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to which the Muslims should adhere and refer. They should not seek the judgment of any other person regardless of his status. As for the benefits which the visitor yields, he does not benefit from the deceased; rather, he benefits from his own good deeds, which are visiting the grave, supplicating Allah in favor of the deceased, invoking Allah to confer His mercy upon the deceased, and showing kindness to him as the person benefits from his kindness towards others..."

He then addressed the exception made to the graves of the Messengers and refuted this statement from several aspects, including that none of the early Muslim generation said that it is prescribed for the Muslim to visit the graves of the Prophets and Messengers for that purpose; that the Prophets rather benefit people by guiding them to the truth and teaching them. Apart from that, then the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, "O people, I have no power to prevent harm or bring benefit to you."

He, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said that during his lifetime; how then could he be able to do that after his death, or how could any other than him be able to do that?

Also, this is the very act that the Messengers have forbidden and feared that their peoples might commit; the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, forbade taking his own grave as a place of celebration and the like of commands meant to eliminate the means that may lead to Shirk.

The Shaykh (Ibn Abd Al-Haadi) added:

"Whoever assumes that doing so is part of revering them is ignorant and mistaken; the due reverence should be manifested in obeying them, following their example, loving them, and respecting them. Whoever reveres them by going against their commands, then his action is not reverence; rather, it is the opposite of reverence as it constitutes disobedience to them and contradicting their example. If a person prostrates to them, supplicates them instead of supplicating Allah, glorified them with Tasbeeh, circumambulates their graves, renders their graves places of worship, attributes to them the divine attributes of Lordship, elevates them above the essential implications of the servitude to Allah, and claims that such actions are manifestations of reverence, then he is the most ignorant and misguided of all people."

In fact, the whole chapter is beneficial and valuable and worthy of reading, but this is as much as this summarized fatwa can include.

Allah knows best.

Related Fatwa