Sadly, rites and ceremonies are practiced at graves and graveyards by people who believe that the inhabitants of the graves can bring benefit to them; such rites and ceremonies have reached the level of being Shirk (i.e. association with Allah) and take place in different forms. The following are some of the actions performed by such people:
Swearing by them: Imam As-San’aani said: “They swear by the names of the dwellers of the graves. In fact, if an oath is taken by the name of Allah, they may not accept it, but if it is taken in the name of one of their Walees (i.e. those whom they believe to be pious) then it is accepted and believed … It is only credible for them if one swears by these people. This is something that we have witnessed in villages and cities since we were young, and it has continued to the present day.”
This results from deviation in belief concerning the names of Allah (i.e. using them improperly or denying them); especially the names that imply qualities like: the All-Knowing, the Greatest, and so on, because one who knows that Allah is the Greatest would never swear by anything except Him.
Seeking protection from them: Just as Allah made the sacred mosque of Makkah (i.e., the
There have been many occasions where people have forgiven their enemies due to the latter taking refuge in such tombs, because they feared punishment from the inhabitant of the tomb if they were to have pursued their enemies into the vicinity of the tomb.
This is also deviation in belief concerning the names of Allah, especially the names that imply qualities like: the Protector, the Supporter, the Granter of victory, and the Almighty.
Supplicating and imploring them: This began with the Soofees propagating the idea that supplications made beside the graves of the righteous are accepted and responded to, and reached the level of them instructing the common people to circumambulate these graves and tombs and seek their support, as well as to speak to them and wail next to their graves.
This progressed until many people now supplicate to other than Allah, seeking their salvation and assistance, regardless of whether they are supplicating to a dead person or a living one; they say things like: “O my master so and so! Please assist me and rescue me.” The irony here is that this act of worship (i.e. supplicating for aid and protection) was sincerely directed to Allah by the pre-Islamic polytheists during times of hardship, whereas these grave- worshipers direct their supplications solely to the deceased! The polytheists knew that their idols could not help them, respond to their calls, or benefit them during such difficult times.
Muhammad ibn As-Sanoosi stated: “I was once on a ship and suddenly, a strong wind hit us. The waves around us became huge and the ship was about to sink, so I began supplicating to all the Awliyaa’ (righteous people) to rescue us.”
This is not an isolated incident; many people nowadays seek such assistance from their Shaykhs, Prophets, Imams or martyrs. Such practices of disbelief by these Soofees made many scholars declare that the disbelief of the early idolaters is milder than that of these grave worshippers, and details of these practices can be found in their own books.
Undoubtedly, such deviation in supplication is an outcome of deviation in belief regarding the names and attributes of Allah, especially names that imply qualities like: the All-Hearing, the Provider, the All-Capable, the Afflicter of harm, the Supporter, the Cause of cure, the Responder to supplications, and so on.
Slaughtering animals in their names: This is another belief and practice of those who believe that the dwellers of graves can bring them benefit. Shepherds in eastern
During seasons of plague, they choose the best of their sheep and take them to his grave; they then slaughter them and spill their blood on the steps of the tomb; therefore, one of the main objectives of visiting these graves is to offer a sacrificial animal to them, and most of the time, the sacrifice is paralleled to a vow (to give olive oil, money, etc.); these are two acts of worship that are prohibited to be offered to anyone other than Allah.
Imam As-San’aani said: “Vowing to give money or other items to the dead, or slaughtering (animals) next to their graves, or supplicating by virtue of the dead, or asking the dead to fulfil a need, is exactly the same practice as that of the polytheists during the pre-Islamic era in which they would make offerings to their idols, whereas people currently make offerings to people whom they call 'Walees', and to (their) tombs.”
Changing the name of an evil does not change its essence; if someone were to drink wine and call it water, would it change the fact that he drank an intoxicant? Of course not…
These practices are the same, regardless of whose grave it is.
Whenever these people visit a grave, they practice these forms of disbelief. ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Khamees related what he observed when he went to the tomb of Muhyid-Deen ibn ‘Arabi in Damascus: “I went to the grave of Ibn ‘Arabi and found a large number of people going back and forth from it. I found them circumambulating the grave and openly and enthusiastically supplicating to him rather than Allah. I also found a woman there who was placing her cheek on a window that was on the tomb, rubbing it against the window, and calling loudly: ‘O Muhyid-Deen! Please rescue me.’ I also found young ladies coming to his tomb and raising their hands in supplication in front of it. They would then wipe their faces with their hands and appear humble during their supplication.”
This confirms that there are numerous forms of Shirk that are being committed beside the grave of this man in
Shaykh Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn As-Siddeeq Al-Ghimari, who is a spiritual leader of this sect, confessed that the practices of the sect include association with Allah and other actions of disbelief when he said: “Many Muslims utter statements of disbelief when venerating Shaykh ‘Abdul-Qadir
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