Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Hadith " Whoever visits my grave..."

Imām al-Dāraqutunī narrated in his Sunan from Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet said:

“Whoever visits my grave, my intercession will be guaranteed for him.”

( Man zāra qabrī wajabat lahu shafā‘atī )

al-Daraqutni, al-Dulabi, al-Bayhaqi, Khatib al-Baghdadi, al-`Uqayli, Ibn `Adi, Tabarani, and Ibn Khuzayma in his Sahih, all through various chains going back to Musa ibn Hilal al-`Abdi from `Ubayd Allah Ibn `Umar, both from Nafi`, From Ibn`Umar:

"Whoever visits my grave, my intercession will be guaranteed for him."

Although declaring all the chains of this hadith imperfect (layyina), Dhahabi nevertheless said that they strengthened each other and declared the chain jayyid (good) as narrated, in Mizan al-i`tidal, vol. 4, p. 226: "Huwa salih al-hadith" which means: "He (Musa ibn Hilal) is good in his narrations." That is: the hadith is hasan. Sakhawi confirmed him in the Maqasid al hasana, while al-Subki declared it sahih according to Samhudi in Sa`adat al darayn 1:77. Ibn`Adi said in al-Kamil fi al-Du`afa" (6:2350): "He (Musa ibn Hilal) is most likely acceptable; other people have called him "unknown" and this is not true... He is one of the shuyukhs of Imam Ahmad and most of them are trustworthy." Even Albani declared him thabit al-riwaya (of established reliability) in his Irwa' (4:338). About `Ubayd Allah ibn `Umar al-`Umari:

- Dhahabi calls him saduq hasan al hadith [truthful, of fair narrations] in al-Mughni 1:348;

- Sakhawi says of him salih al-hadith [of sound narrations] in al-Tuhfa al latifa 3:366;
- Ibn Ma`in said to Darimi about him: salih thiqa [sound and reliable] in al-Kamil 4:1459.

This is one of the proof-texts adduced by the ulama of Islam to derive the obligation or recommendation of visiting the Prophet's grave and seeking him as wasila (intermediary/means). See the chapter on visiting the Prophet's grave in Nawawi's book al-Adhkar and in Qadi Iyad's book al Shifa.

Sakhawi said in al-Qawl al-badi` (p. 160):

The emphasis and encouragement on visiting his noble grave is mentioned in numerous hadiths, and it would suffice to show this if there was only the hadith whereby the truthful and God-confirmed Prophet promises that his intercession among other things becomes obligatory for whoever visits him, and the Imams are in complete agreement from the time directly after his passing until our own time that this is among the best acts of drawing near to Allah.

Ibn Hajar al-Haytami said in his commentary on Nawawi's Idah fi manasik al hajj:

Ibn Khuzayma narrated it in his Sahih but mentioned its weakness. Ibn al Kharrat and Taqi al-Subki declared it sound (sahih). Daraqutni and Tabarani also narrate it with the wording: "Whoever visits me with no other need than visiting me, it is my duty to be his intercessor on the Day of judgment" One version has: "It is Allah's duty that I be his intercessor on the Day of Judgment." Ibn al-Subki declared it sound.

The comment of the Saudi author Bin Baz whereby "The ahadith that concern the desirability of visiting the grave of the Prophet are all weak, indeed forged" (kulluha da`ifa bal mawdu`a) in the 1993 edition of Fath al Bari (3:387) is insignificant.

( This scholar ( Bin Baz) deviated from ahlus sunnah belief. More about his adventures can be read on this blog )

Imām al-Dāraqut.
nī narrated in his Sunan from Ibn ‘Umar ∗# that the Prophet  said:
“Whoever visits my grave, my intercession will be guaranteed for him.”

(Man zāra qabrī wajabat lahu shafā‘atī)

I. Sourcing (takhrīj)

Narrated from Ibn ‘Umar by al-Dāraqutnī.
in his Sunan (2:278 #194), al-T. ayālisī (2:12), al-Dūlābī in
al-Kunā wal-Asmā’ (2:64), al-Khat. īb in Talkhīs.
al-Mutashābih fīl-Rasm (1:581), Ibn al-Dubaythī in al-
Dhayl ‘alā al-Tārīkh (2:170), Ibn Abī al-Dunyā in Kitāb al-Qubūr, al-Bayhaqī in Shu‘ab al-Īmān (3:490), al-H. akīm al-Tirmidhī in Nawādir al-Us. ūl (p. 148), al-Haythamī (4:2), al-Subkī in Shifā’ al-Siqām (p. 12-14), Abū al-Shaykh, Ibn ‘Adī in al-Kāmil (6:235, 6:351), al-‘Uqaylī in al-D.u‘afā’4:170), al-Bazzār in his Musnad with a very weak chain containing ‘Abd Allāh ibn Ibrāhīm al-Ghifārī ([cf. Ibn H. ajar’s Mukhtas. ar Musnad al-Bazzār (1:481 #822)] with the wording (1) “Whoever visits my grave, my intercession shall take place for him” (h. allat lahu shafā‘atī

and Ibn H.ajar who indicated its grade of hasan in Talkhīīr (2:266) as it is strengthened by other h. adīths which both he and al-Haythamī mention ),
such as:

(2) “Whoever visits me without any avowed purpose other than my visit, it is incumbent upon meto be his intercessor on the Day of Resurrection.” Narrated by al- Tabarānī in al-Awsat and al-Kabīr with a chain containing Maslama ibn Sālim and by Ibn al-Sakan in his Sunan al-Sihah as stated by al-Shirbīnī in Mughnī al-Muhtāj (1:512).

(3) “Whoever makes pilgrimage then visits me after my death it is as if he visited me in my life.”
Narrated by al-T. abarānī in al-Kabīr (12:406), al-Dāraqut.nī (2:278), and al-Bayhaqī, Sunan, (5:246#10054-10055)all through H.afs. ibn Abī Dāwūd al-Qārī whom only Ahmad declared passable (sālih).
Mamdūh said (p. 337-340) it is more da‘īf than other weak h. adīths in this chapter

(4) “Whoever visits my grave after my death is as those who visited me in my life.” Narrated by al-Tabarānī in al-Kabīr (12:406) and al-Awsat. (1:94) with a chain containing ‘Ā’isha bint Yūnus, whose status is uncertain, and from H. āt.
ib by al-Dāraqutnī (2:278) with another chain which al-Dhahabī said
was one of the best chains in that chapter. Mamdūh said (p. 330-334) it is da‘īf but not mawdu.

(5) “Whoever makes pilgrimage and does not visit me, has been rude to me.”

Narrated by al-Dāraqutnī in his Sunan. Abū Ghudda said: “It is not forged as Ibn al-Jawzī and Ibn Taymiyya said,rather, a number of scholars considered its chain fair, and a number considered it weak.” Mamdūh.(p.344-346) considers it forged.

Al-‘Uqaylī in al-Du‘afā’ (4:170) declared the chains of Ibn ‘Umar’s narration “soft” (layyina) as did al-Dhahabī, the latter adding as did al-Bayhaqī and al-Fattanī in
Tadhkirat al-Mawduat – that they strengthened each other as none contains any liar nor forger,as stated by al-Suyūti in al-Durar al-Muntathira, al-Munāwī, and al-‘Ajlūnī in Kashf al-Khafā (2:328-329).

The narration (6) “Whoever visits me in al-Madīna anticipating reward (muh. tasiban), I shall be for him a witness and an intercessor on the Day of Resurrection.

Narrated from Anas by al-Bayhaqī,Shu‘ab(3:489-490), al-Jurjānī in Tārīkh Jurjān (p. 220, 433), Ibn Abī al-Dunyā, Ibn ‘Asākir, al-Jundī,and others,through Abū al-Muthannā Sulaymān ibn Yazīd al-Madanī al-Ka‘bī who was declared weak by
al-Dāraqutni Abū Hātim, and Ibn Hibbān while al-Tirmidhī considered his narrations fair cf. Ibn HajarLisān (7:481) and Tahdhīb (12:242). It was declared fair by al-Suyūtiin al-Jāmi‘ al-Saghīr (#8716) and fair or rather sound through its corroborators” by al-Ghumārī in al-Mudāwī (6:290) in confirmation of
al-Subkī in Shifā’ al-Siqām.

II. Grade (martaba)

The h.adīth “Whoever visits my grave, my intercession will be guaranteed for him” is a fair (h.asan) narration as concluded by Imām Abū al-H. asanāt al-Lacknawī1 and his editor ‘Abd al-Fattāh.Abū Ghuddain the latter’s notes on the Muwat.t.a’ in Muh.ammad ibn al-H. asan’s narration (chapter 49: On the Prophet’s grave) as well as Shaykh Mah.mūd Mamdūh 2 although some early scholars declared itsound (s.ah.īh.
) such as Ibn al-Sakan in al-Sunan al-Sihāh.and ‘Abd al-H.aqq al-Ishbīlī in al-Ah.kām, followed by Shaykh al-Islām al-Taqī al-Subkī in Shifā’ al-Siqām in view of the totality of the chains.3 Other h.adīth scholars who considered it authentic are Ibn H.ajar’s student the h.adīth Master al-Sakhāwī,4 the h.adīth Master of Madīna al-Samhūdī5 and Imām Ibn Hajar al-Haytamī in al-Jawhar al-Munaz zam fī Ziyārat al-Qabr al-Mukarram. Al-Ghassāni (d. 682) did not include it in his recension of al-Dāraqut.nī’s weak narrations entitled Takhrīj al-Ahādīth al-D. i‘āf min Sunan al-Dāraqut.nī.6 Some late scholars, beginning with Ibn Taymiyya, are undecided whether to grade this h.adīth weak or forged.

Imām al-Lacknawī said about this h.adīth:

There are some who declared it weak [e.g. al-Bayhaqī, Ibn Khuzayma, and al-Suyūt.
ī], and others who asserted that all the h.adīths on visitation of the Prophet  are forged, such as Ibn Taymiyya and his followers, but both positions are false for those who were given right understanding, for verification of the case dictates that the h.adīth is hasan, as Taqī al-Dīn al-Subkī has expounded in his book Shifā’

Among those who fall into the category of “Ibn Taymiyya and his followers”:
Muhammad Ibn ‘Abd al-Hādī who wrote al-Sārim al-Munkī in violent refutation of al-Subkī’s book on visitation but contradicted his own position in another book of his: he makes much ado about the reliability of ‘Abd Allāh ibn ‘Umar al-‘Umarī in al-Sārim al-Munkī, but relies upon him in another book, al-Tanqīh.!8 Shaykh Mah.mūd Mamdūh refuted his weakening of this h.adīth in great detail 9 and
stated that al-S. ārim al-Munkī is at the root of all subsequent generalizations in weakening the h.adīths that concern the desirability of visitation.10

The late ‘Abd al-‘Azīz ibn Baz who reiterated Ibn Taymiyya’s imprudent verdict: “The h.adīths that concern the visitation of the grave of the Prophet  are all weak, indeed forged”;11

The late Nāsir al-Albānī,12 who claimed that the visit to the Prophet  ranks among the innovations 13 although himself the Innovator of our time.

A Nās ir al-Jadya‘, who in 1993 obtained his Ph.D. with First Honors from the University of Muhammad ibn Sa‘ūd after writing a 600-page book entitled al-Tabarruk in which he perpetuates the same aberrant claim.14

Imām al-Sakhāwī said:

The emphasis and encouragement on visiting his noble grave is mentioned in numerous h.adīths, and it would suffice to show this if there was only the h.adīth whereby the truthful and God-confirmed Prophet promises that his intercession among other things becomes guaranteed for whoever visits him, and the Imāms are in complete agreement from the time directly after his passing until our own
time that this [i.e. visiting him] is among the best acts of drawing near to Allāh.15

1 In Zafar al-Amānī (p. 422) and al-Ajwibat al-Fād.
ila (p. 155).

2 In his Raf‘ al-Mināra (p. 280 and p. 318).

3 As related by Ibn H. ajar in Talkhīs al-H. abīr (2:267). Cf. al-Shawkānī in Nayl al-Awtar (5:95) and al-Sindī in hisnotes on Ibn Mājah.

4 In al-Qawl al-Badī‘ (p. 160).

5In Sa‘ādat al-Darayn (1:77).

6Published at Ryad: Dār ‘Alam al-Kutub, 1991.

7 Al-Lacknawī, Zafar al-Amānī (p. 422).

8Ibn ‘Abd al-Hādī, Tanqīh. (1:122) cf. Mamdūh Raf‘ al-Mināra (p. 12).

9In Raf‘ al-Mināra (p 280-318)

10 In Raf‘ al-Mināra (p. 9).

11 In his annotations on Ibn H. ajar’s Fath. al-Bārī (1989 ed. 3:387), echoing the exact words used by Ibn Taymiyya in his Minhāj (1986 ed. 2:441) and Fatāwā (27:119).

12 In his Irwa’ al-Ghalīl (4:337-338) in which he imitated Ibn ‘Abd al-Hādī. 13In Talkhīs Ah kām al-Janā'iz (p. 110) and elsewhere in his writings. 14Nasir al-Jadya’, al-T. abarruk (p. 322). Note that all these books are presently available in print, but not Shifā’ al Siqām!

15 Al-Sakhāwī, al-Qawl al-Badī‘ (p. 160). He contradicts himself in al-Maqās.
id al-H. asana (p. 413) where he adopts al-Dhahabī’s opinion that “the chains of the h. adīth of visitation are all ‘soft’ (layyina) but strengthen each
other because none of them contains any liar.”

There is no contest among the jurists of the Four Schools as to the probative force of the narration of Ibn ‘Umar, as it is adduced time and again by the jurists to support the strong desirability of visiting the Prophet in Madīna, especially among H anbalī sources early and late: al-Mardāwī, Ibn Hubayra, and others stated that the entirety of the early and late authorities in the Hanbalī Madhhab stipulate the
desirability (istih.bāb) of visiting the grave of the Prophet  in Madīna, most especially after Hajj,and/or travelling to do so.16 Ibn Muflih., al-Mardāwī, and Mar‘ī ibn Yūsuf in Ghāyat al-Muntahā stated the Sunnī character of visiting the graves of the Muslims and the permissibility (ibāh.a) of travelling to do
so. Mar‘ī reiterates this ruling in his unpublished monograph on the ethics of graves and visitation, Shifā’ al-Sudūr fī Ziyārat al-Mashāhid wal-Qubūr.17

There are many additional sound texts illustrating the visit to the Prophet , among them that of the Companion Bilāl ibn Rabāh al-Habashī all the way from Damascus with the expressed intention of visiting the Prophet to greet him and, upon arrival, his rubbing his face against the Prophetic grave in tears before proceeding to raise the adhān upon the request of the two grandsons of the Prophet
upon them peace.18 See also the Companions’ practice of seeking the Prophet  as a means for their needs by visiting his grave, such as Bilāl ibn al-H. ārith al-Muzanī, Abū Ayyūb al-Ans.āri, ‘Ā’isha, and Fātima 19 And Allāh knows best.

16 Ibn Qudāma, al-Mughnī (3:117, 3:297, 5:465), al-Muqni‘ (1:466), al-Kāfī (1:619); Ibn Muflih. , al-Mubdi‘ fī Sharh al-Muqni‘ (3:259); al-Buhūtī, Kashshāf al-Qinā‘ (2:514-515; 5:36), al-Rawd. al-Murba‘ (1:522); Ibn Dawyān Manār al-Sabīl (1:256); Shams al-Dīn ibn Muflih. , Furū‘ (3:523); al-H. ajjāwī, Iqnā‘ (1:395); ‘Abd al-Rah.mān al-Ba‘lī, Kashf al-Mukhaddarāt (p. 193); Mar‘ī, Ghāyat al-Muntahā (1:418), Dalīl al-T. alīb (p. 88); Ah.mad al-Ba‘lī,al-Rawd. al-Nadī (p. 190); Bahā’ al-Dīn al-Maqdisī (p. 209); Ibn al-Najjār, Muntahā al-Irādāt (1:286); Ibn al-
Jawzī, al-Madhhab al-Ah. mad (p. 68); Shams al-Dīn Ibn Qudāma, al-Sharh. al-Kabīr (3:494); al-Kawladhānī,Hidāya (p. 105); Ibn Hubayra, Ifs. āh.
(1:297), al-Mardāwī, Ins. āf (4:53).

17 Z.āhiriyya ms. cf. Ibn Muflih. , Mubdi‘ (2:107), Mar‘ī, Ghāya (1:258), al-Mardāwī, Ins. āf (2:317).

18Narrated by Ibn ‘Asākir (7:137) with a good chain (sanad jayyid) as stated by al-Shawkānī in Nayl al-Awtar
(5:180), at the conclusion of Kitāb al-Manāsik.

19All as cited in the sections on Tawassul and Visitation in the Encyclopedia of Islamic Doctrine.