Analysis on visiting the Grave of Prophet (Peace be upon him)
Every believer has a desire to visit the Blessed Grave of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) during his life time. Some even spend their entire earning just to have a glimpse of it. But unfortunately some people from the minority sect have started corrupting the innocent minds of Muslim ummah and thereby misleading them with false information. These extremists declare the act of traveling to visit the Blessed Grave of Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) as Biddah (Innovation) and Haram. This was propagated by Ibn Taymiyyah al-Mubtadi whose verdict Imam Ibn Hajr al Asqalani (rah) rightly refutes
The scholar worthy of title "Shaykh ul Islam" i.e. Imam Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani (rah) destroys Ibn Taymiyite viewpoint by saying in his world renowned Sharh of Sahih Bukhari called Fath ul Bari:
"THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST UGLY THINGS REPORTED FROM IBN TAYMIYYAH"
ألزموا ابن تيمية بتحريم شد الرحل إلى زيارة قبر سيدنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلّم وأنكرنا صورة ذلك، وفي شرح ذلك من الطرفين طول، وهي من أبشع المسائل المنقولة عن ابن تيمية
[Fath ul Bari, Sharh Sahih ul Bukhari (3/386)]
In the end Imam Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani (rah) puts the final nail in coffin of such people and their ilk by proving travel for graves of Awliya to be allowed let alone Anbiya, Ibn Hajr says:
فيبطل بذلك قول من منع شد الرحال إلى زيارة القبر الشريف وغيره من قبور الصالحين والله أعلم
So the Qawl (saying) of him is proven Batil (فيبطل) who says it is forbidden to make journey towards ‘’Qabr Shareef’’(Please note how Ibn Hajr calls the grave of Prophet as Qabr Shareef with utter respect, whereas Salafis have problem even with the word Shareef when it comes to graves) and other graves of ‘’Saliheen’’ (قبور الصالحين), and Allah knows the best. [Fath ul Bari, ibid]
Hadith # 1
ثنا القاضي المحاملي نا عبيد الله ابن محمد الوراق نا موسى ابن هلال العبدي عن عبيد الله ابن عمر عن نافع ، عن ابن عمر قال
: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: من زار قبري وجبت له شفاعتي
Translation: Narrated by Ibn Umar that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: Whosoever visits my grave then my intercession becomes Wajib for him [Sunnan al-Daraqutni Volume No. 2, Page No. 244, Imam al-Bayhaqi in Shu‘ab al-Iman (3/490) and others]
In this hadith Jarah [criticism] is done on 2 narrators
1) Musa bin Hilal
2) Ubayd Ullah ibn Umar
Although there is Tadil [authentication] on both these narrators too (remember there has been Jarh even upon Imam Bukhari and Imam Abu Hanifa, therefore had Jarh superseded Tadil then all Imams would become Liars), First of all we can prove the hadith to be Sahih but still If people with Bughz (hatred) for Prophet (Peace be upon him) do not believe then we can present ahadith in which these two narrators are not present (remember these narrators are not Fabricators, the maximum jarah upon them is of weakness, hence Ibn Taymiyyah made a blunder to call all these ahadith as Mawdo)
1) Regarding Musa bin Hilaal, Imam Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani (rah) while doing Tadil on him said:
وقال ابن عدي: أرجو أنه لا بأس به. قلت: وهو (صالح) الحديث، روى عنه أحمد، والفَضْلُ بن سَهْلٍ
Translation:Ibn Adi (rah) said: There is no harm in him and he said he is “SALIH UL HADITH” i.e. upright in Hadith. From him have narrated Imam Ahmed and Fudhayl bin Sahl [Lisan ul Mizan, Volume No. 8, Page No. 157]
2) Regarding Ubayd Ullah Ibn Umar Sheikh ul Islam Imam Taqi ud din Subki (rah) said:
Imam Abu Hatim said that he saw Imam Ahmed praising him a lot. And Yahya bin Ma’een said: There is no harm in him and his ahadith are written. Ibn Adi said: There is no harm in him and he “Truthful” [Shifa us Siqaam fi Ziyaratal Khayr al Anaam, Page No.9]
A) Qadhi Shawkani said:
وقد صحح هذا الحديث ابن السكن وعبد الحق وتقي الدين السبكي
Translation: This hadith is declared “Sahih” by Ibn al-Sakin (rah), Abdul Haq (rah) and Taqi ud din as-Subki (rah) [Nayl al Awtar 5:164]
Imam Ibn Hajr al Asqalani (rah) also showed this authentication in his Talkhis al Habir (2:265)
C) Imam Sakhawi (rah) also declared it Sahih in al-Qawl al-Badi‘ (p. 160)
He also said:
قال الذهبي طرقه كلها لينة لكن يتقوى بعضها ببعض لأن ما في روايتها متهم بالكذب
Translation: Imam al-Dhahabi said: The chains of the hadith of visitation are all ‘soft’ (layyina) but strengthen each other because none of them contains any liar [Imam Sakhawi in al-Maqasid al Hasana, Volume No.1, Page No. 472]
Hadith # 2
حدثنا عبد الله ابن محمد ابن عبد العزيز نا أبو الربيع الزهراني نا حفص ابن أبي داود ، عن ليث ابن أبي سليم عن مجاهد عن ابن عمر قال
: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: من حج فزار قبري بعد وفاتي فكأنما زارني في حياتي
Narrated Abdullah Ibn Umar:
Allah's Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: Whoever visits my grave after my death it is same as him visiting me in my life [Imam Tabrani in his Al-Kabir Volume No. 12, Page No. 291. Imam Bayhaqi in Shu’ab ul Iman Volume No. 3: Hadith #489]
Note: This hadith is also narrated by Ibn Umar but the "chain of narrators in this case are totally different" hence the hadith becomes Hassan (Good and sound)
A) Imam Ibn Qudama (rah) said:
ويستحب زيارة قبر النبي لما روى الدارقطني بإسناده عن ابن عمر قال: قال رسول الله : «من حج فزار قبري بعد وفاتي فكأنما زارني في حياتي» وفي رواية، «من زار قبري وجبت له شفاعتي
It is recommended to do Ziyarah of Prophet’s grave as it is narrated by Daraqutni with his Isnaad from Ibn Umar that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: Whosoever performs the Hajj after my death then he should visit my grave because It is as If he has visited me during my life. And he also narrated (another hadith) that Whosoever visits my grave then my intercession becomes Wajib for him [Imam Ibn Qudama in al-Mughni, Volume No. 5, Page No. 381]
Imam al Bahuti al-Hanbli (rah) has also said this in his Al-Kashaf al-Qanna [Volume No. 2, Page No. 290]
C) Qadhi al-Iyaad (rah) the magnificent lover of Prophet (Peace be upon him) said in his world renowned and top most Seerah book ever i.e. Ash-Shifa
في حكم زيارة قبره صلى الله عليه وسلم، وفضيلة من زاره وسلم عليه
و زيارة قبره صلى الله عليه وسلم سنة من سنن المسلمين مجمع عليها، وفضيلة مرغب فيها: روى عن ابن عمر
Translation: Chapter: The order of visiting the grave of Prophet (Peace be upon him) and the Virtue of the one visiting it and sending Salam.
It should be known that visiting the grave of Prophet (Peace be upon him) is“Masnoon” for all Muslims and they have “IJMA” over it, It has such a virtue that It has been prescribed to us as it comes in the hadith of Ibn Umar [i.e. whosoever visits my grave then my intercession becomes Wajib for him] [Qadhi Iyaad in Ash-Shifa, Volume No.2, Page No. 53]
Hadith # 3
حدثنا عبدان بن احمد، قال: حدثنا عبد الله بن محمد العبادى البصري، قال: حدثنا مسلمة بن سالم الجهنى قال حدثنى عبيد الله بن عمر عن نافع عن سالم عن بن عمر قال
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من جاءني زائرا لا تعمله حاجة إلا زيارتى كان حقا على أن اكون له شفيعا يوم القيامة
Translation: Ibn Umar narrates that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: Anyone who comes to visit me and he came solely for this purpose then It becomes Wajib upon me to do intercession for him on the Day of Judgment[Imam Tabrani in Mu’ajm al Kabir, Volume No. 12, Page No. 291 and as mentioned in Al-Talkhis al Habir by al-Asqalani 2:241]
Note: The chain of this hadith is totally different from the first two which were mentioned therefore due to overwhelming different Turaq (paths of transmission) the hadith definitely becomes Hassan if not Sahih
Hadith # 4
من حج البيت، ولم يزرني فقد جفاني رواه ابن عدي بسند حسن
Translation: The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: Whosoever does Hajj of Bayt Ullah but does not visit me then He has been rude to me – Ibn Adi has narrated it with “Hassan” Chain [Hashiya Tahtawi, Volume No. 1, Page No. 403]
This hadith also has a different chain. It can be shown from 5 more hadiths with different chains plus the 2 outstanding Imams i.e. Sheikh ul Islam Taqi ud din as-Subki (rah) in his magnificent Shifa us Siqaam fi Ziyaratil Khayr al Anaam, and Imam al-Faqih Ibn Hajr al Haythami (rah) in Al-Jawhar al Munazzam who have written their whole works on these hadiths and established all rulings in regards to visiting the blessed grave of Prophet (Peace be upon him) including detailed verdict of Tawassul and Istighatha through him to be fair. Hence these ahadith combined together reach the status of Hassan at least if not Sahih and this is accepted Usool in hadith methodology that ahadith coming from different ways become Hassan even if their chains are weak.
View of Modern Day Scholars Vs Classical Scholars
Modern Day Scholar: The famous Wahabite modern day scholar i.e Nasiruddin Albani was known for his Bughz for the blessed grave of Prophet (Peace be upon him), but he went few steps ahead and even declared sahih ahadith about praying 40 prayers in Masjid an-Nabwi as Da'eef and the practise as Bidah (Audhobillah Min Dhalik), he said in his book Hujjat al-Nabi [Page: 185]: It is an innovation (bid’ah) to visit Madeenah and tell the visitors to Madeenah to stay there for a week so that they will be able to offer forty prayers in the Prophet’s Mosque so that they will be free from hypocrisy and saved from the Fire.”
Actually the hadith of 40 prayers in Masjid an-Nabwi is authentic and it is Dajl/lie of Albani to call it weak. None of the classical Muhaditheen called this report as weak rather they called it "SAHIH/HASAN"
عن أنس بن مالك ، عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلّم قال: «مَنْ صَلَّى في مَسْجِدِي أَرْبَعينَ صَلاةً لا تَفُوْتُهُ صَلاةٌ كَتَبَ له بَرَاءَةً مِنَ النَّارِ وَبَرَاءَةً مِنَ العَذَابِ، وَبَرِىءَ مِنَ النِّفَاقِ».
قلت: روى الترمذي بعضه.
رواه أحمد والطبراني في الأوسط ورجاله ثقات.
Translation: Narrated by Anas bin Malik that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: Anyone who prays 40 prayers in my Mosque without missing a single one, then for him is freedom from hell fire, freedom from torment and freedom from Nifaaq
Imam al-Haythami said: Some part of it is narrated in Tirmidhi. This one is narrated by Imam Ahmed, Tabarani in his al-Awsat and the Rijaal of it are “(ALL) THIQA” [Majma az-Zawaid 3/667, Hadith # 5878]
Imam al-Mundhiri (rah) said in his Targheeb wa Tarheeb:
رواه أحمد، ورواته رواة الصحيح،
Translation: It is narrated by Ahmed and It is amongst Sahih narrations [Targheeb wa Tarheeb 2/139]
So Ummah is told to beware of Salafi Dajl in this regard.
Another Modern Day Wahabite Scholar i.e. Abd-al Aziz bin Baaz said: It is not obligatory for the pilgrims, men or women, to visit the grave of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or al-Baqee’, rather it is haraam to travel with the purpose of visiting graves in general..[Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas: Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Razzaaq ‘Afeefi, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ghadyaan. Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah li’l-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wa’l-Ifta (11/362)
Classical Scholar: Sheikh ul-Islam al-Hafidh wal Imam Yahya bin Sharaf an-Nawawi (Rahimuhullah) who wrote the best ever Sharh on Sahih Muslim.
He writes in his Kitab ul Adhkaar:
اعلم أنه ينبغي لكل من حجّ أن يتوجه إلى زيارة رسول اللّه صلى اللّه عليه وسلم، سواء كان ذلك طريقه أو لم يكن، فإن زيارته صلى اللّه عليه وسلم من أهمّ القربات وأربح المساعي وأفضل الطلبات، فإذا توجَّه للزيارة أكثرَ من الصلاة عليه صلى اللّه عليه وسلم في طريقه، فإذا وقعَ بصرُه على أشجار المدينة وحَرمِها وما يَعرفُ بها زاد من الصلاة والتسليم عليه صلى اللّه عليه وسلم، وسألَ اللّه تعالى أن ينفعَه بزيارته صلى اللّه عليه وسلم، وأن يُسعدَه بها في الدارين، وليقلْ: اللَّهُمَّ افْتَحْ عَليَّ أبْوَابَ رَحْمَتِكَ وَارْزُقْنِي في زِيارَةِ قَبْرِ نَبِيِّكَ صلى اللّه عليه وسلم ما رزقْتَهُ أوْلِياءَكَ وأهْلَ طَاعَتِكَ واغْفِرْ لي وارْحمنِي يا خَيْرَ مَسْؤُول
Section: Chapter regarding Visit to the Tomb of the Messenger of Allah (Salallaho alaihi wasalam), and the Dhikr made there"
It should be known that “EVERYONE” who performs the hajj should set out to visit the Messenger of Allah (Salallaho alaihi wasalam), “WHETHER IT IS ON ONE’S WAY OR NOT” because visiting him (Salallaho alaihi wasalam) is one of the most important acts of worship, the most rewarded of efforts, and best of goals. When one sets out to perform the visit, one should do much of the blessings and peace upon him (salallaho alaihi wasalam) on the way. And when one’s eye falls on the trees of Medina, and its sanctum and landmarks, one should increase sending the blessings and peace upon the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), asking Allah Most High to benefit one by one’s “VISIT TO HIM” (Allah bless him and give him peace)...and grant one felicity in this world and the next through it. One should say,"O Allah, open for me the doors of Your mercy, and bestow upon me, through the visit to the Grave of Your prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), that which You have bestowed upon Your friends, those who obey You. Forgive me and show me mercy, O Best of Those Asked" (Imam an-Nawawi in Kitab ul Adhkaar, Page No. 178)
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Important Note: This passage has been deliberately forged by Salafis in the edition of Salafi scholar Abdul Qadir al Ar'anoot, they changed the wording "QABR" into "MASJID" and also removed the passage which proved Tawassul through the Dhaat of Prophet (Peace be upon him) ... Audhobillah Min Dhalik. This exposition of Salafis is more than enough to establish that they keep Bughz for the Prophet (Peace be upon him)