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The Practices of Saudi Arabia Are Not Proof Of Islam – Here’s Why You Should Desist From Imposing Them On Others

[Mufti Ibadur Rahman (hafidhahullah), Ashraful Uloom, Hyderabad, India]

السّلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

Some people, owing to their narrow mindedness, want to impose every act practiced in Saudi Arabia on the entire world and narrow the vast nature of Islam. But they should take a lesson from the broad mindedness of Imam Malik (rahimahullah). Caliph Harun al Rashid (rahimahullah) wished to enforce Muwatta of Imam Malik throughout the world as a primary book of law. But Imam Malik suggested to him not to do that, because the Companions had spread in every region. They narrated ahadith in every place. Thus, the people of every region had acquired knowledge from those Companions, while Imam Malik had collected the knowledge of only Madinah. (Majmu’ al Fatawa: V. 2, p. 311, Faid al-Qadir. V. 1, p. 209)

Islam is a global as well as eternal faith. It has not been confined to any specific race, color, region or period. Islam revolves around truth, wherever it goes. Therefore, no specific place has been taken as the cradle of truth, for places go through continuous changes. Places always accept every sort of good and bad change. The truth was, therefore, not confined to any specific place; even the blessed cities of Makkah and Madinah, although birth place of Islam and, therefore, worthy of every reverence from us, are not hujjat (solid base for action) for us like Allah ta’ala, Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), the Holy Qur’an and the Ahadith do. Despite the fact that the Holy Qur’an was revealed and the Ahadith were stated in these two cities, they did not remain limited to them; they crossed the boundaries to dominate all over the world.

Sanctity is one thing, while being hujjat is something else. Every Sacred thing does not necessarily qualify for being hujjat.

The blessed Companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) spread throughout the world with the Holy Qur’an and they made lslam a global faith and purified the entire world with the blissful teachings of the Quran and Ahadith, as though creating a new Makkah and Madinah in the very place they visited. They built the castles of Islam in every city and left the message for us “Stay with truth wherever it is found.”

A group of people nowadays is making effort to establish that the practice in Saudi Arabia is hujjat for us and we are bound to follow the norms practiced over there. Everything against them is avoidable. This trend is badly affecting the people who do not have deeper knowledge of the faith. People are often heard saving that it happens in Saudi this way and in Makkah this way, as the truth was found only in Saudi Arabia and Makkah. Apart from that, every place of the world is void of this quality. This mentality is synonymous to narrowing the global face of Islam, not to speak of the harms it causes to the belief of common masses.

Spreading this mentality is surely not a service to the faith, or any positive and constructive task. It reflects a negative process and destructive mindset. We do not believe that truth is found only in Saudi Arabia; instead we believe that it is also found in it, apart from many other parts of the world. We do not accept the confinement of the truth in Saudi Arabia and everything that is practiced in it as hujjat. Our purpose is no way to degrade the sanctity of the holy city, nor to hurt the sentiments of its residents. The Makkah and Madinah are, in fact, the centre place for our love and qiblah for our soul. It is our primary duty to honor and protect the Holy cities. We consider it as our privilege and responsibility to sacrifice our lives for their security. At the same time, we are also neither ready to endure the travesty of the Haramayn and conspiracy against the spirit of Islam, nor will let anyone do it. We cannot remain silent if someone creates dissention amongst the Muslim community in the name of the Haramayn, charge people for infidelity from there and presents a distorted face of Islam. We will fight against them with both, the life and letters and will present Islam with all its vastness to the humanity, as the pious elders have done.

I will substantiate this view in the light of evidences from the writings of the pious elders, so that the truth stands apart and the falsehood gets disclosed.

Below are some evidences.

Allamah Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) discusses an issueprimarily based on practices in the holy city of Madinah in details. He just abhors with due evidences the view that the practices of thepeople in the holy city serve as hujjah or authority for Muslims. He emphasizes the it is the sunnah (of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasllam)) and the truth that primarily make basis for action. It is the hadith that will serve as criterion to judge the deeds. The practices of no specific place, may it be the city of Madinah, will be taken as the criteria.

He writes in I’lam al-Muwaqqi’een:

Ending (salaah) with one salaam is a common practice in Madinah. It has been traditionally practiced by the People of Madinah for long ago. This is such an act with which argument can be made for practice in every city, as it cannot remain hidden due to repeatedly being practiced so many times a day.

I say (Ibn al-Qayyim rejects this view). This basis (the practice of people in Madinah) is opposed by the majority of scholars. They say that the practice of the people in Madinah is similar to that of people in other cities. There is no difference between the practice of people in Madinah and that of the people in Hijaz, Iraq and Syria. The practices of only those who have sunnah (hadith) in support make a base for action. It is the sunnah that judges an act, and not vice versa. No specific city, barring other ones, ever guarantees accuracy of action for us. The walls, houses and the regions do not play a role in preferring any of the different opinions. It is the residents that play a role. It is known to all that the Companions of the Prophet (saws) witnessed the revelation of the Qur’an, learnt its meaning and acquired the knowledge that the latter generations could not. Thus, they have superiority over others in regards with knowledge, as they have in regards with the religion and virtue. Their practices are such that cannot be disputed with. Most of them shifted from Madinah to other cities. Most of the scholars among the Companions (radhiyallahu anhum) stayed in Kufa, Basra and Syria, like Ali ibn Abi Talib (radhiyallahu anhu), Abu Musa (radhiyallahu anhu), Abdullah ibn Masood (radhiyallahu anhu), Ubadah ibn al-Samit (radhiyallahu anhu), Abu Darda (radhiyallahu anhu), Amr ibn al-Aas (radhiyallahu anhu), Mu’awiya ibn Abi Sufiyan (radhiyallahu anhu) and Mu’adh ibn Jabal (radhiyallahu anhu).

Almost over three hundred Companions migrated to Kufah and Basra, and almost the same number to Egypt and Syria. So, how can their practices while living in Madinah will be reliable and the practices of their opponents not? It is not possible that their actions remain reliable as long as they stay in Madinah, but when they migrate from there, the practice of only those who remain there even after them be reliable (meaning those who remain back in Madinah – blog author). (I’lam al-Muwaqqi’een v. 2, p. 380-381, Beirut, Maktabah Dar al-Jabal). The author has further written in this regard which has been left for fear of excessive length.

In Zad al-Ma’ad also, Allamah Ibn al-Qayyim discloses the fact that unreliability of the practices of people of Madinah is also caused by the fact that the officials appointed by the Umayyad government had innovated many new things in Madinah. (See, Zad al-Ma’ad. v. 1, p. 99, Maktabha al-Maurid)

Layth ibn Sa’d, a celebrated mujtahid and hadith scholar, once wrote a long letter to Imam Malik. Apart from pointing out to many things, he also wrote in the letter that the early Companions spread in numerous regions for the purpose of jihad. They stayed in various places and people joined them. They taught people the Holy Qur’an and Ahadith which was not concealed from the Rashidun caliphs. They used to guide them through letters in many small affairs, so that Islam could remain Safe. The early Companions lived in other places and also they received guidelines for work from the Rashidun caliphs. So how can it be said that Islam did not remain pure in other cities except Madinah?

Layth ibn Sa’d writes:

Many of those early Companions got out in jihad seeking the pleasure of Allah. They recruited people in the army and people continued to gather around them. The Companions promoted the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasllam) among them. They deduced rulings about the issues on which the Holy Qur’an and the Ahadith did not make a clear view. At the forefront among them were Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman (radiyallahu anhum) whom the Companions had chosen for themselves. These three caliphs were neither to make the lives of the soldiers meaningless, nor were they neglectful about them. They instead guided them with letters in small issues to establish the faith and avoid differences from the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah. Thus, they did not leave anything that the Holy Qur’an clearly presents, or the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) practiced or the Companions (radhiyallahu anhum) unanimously decided after him (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), but these caliphs taught them everything. (Talam al-Muwaqqieen. v. 3, p. 83, Maktabah Dar al-Jabal)

Layth ibn Sa’d also establishes with sufficient evidences that the practices of the people in Madinah was totally different from the practices of the early knowledgeable Companions in other cities, while the sunnah also supported them. This long interesting letter is known as ‘Risalah al-Laith Ila Malik’ and can be seen in I’lam al-Muwaqqi’een.

A narration related in Sahih Bukhari speaks of a disputed issue of the Hajj. The people of Madinah asked Abdullah Ibn Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu), a Makkah based scholar, about a woman who has menses after performing the Tawaf Ifadah. He said, “She could depart (from Mecca). They said, “We will not act on your verdict and ignore the verdict of Zaid.” (Sahih Bukhari 1785).

Allamah Aini also quotes from the Musnad Abu Da’ud al Tayalisi in his commentary on Sahih Bukhari that the Ansar said: “We will not obey you, o ibn Abbas, if you dispute with Zaid (Umdat al-Qari, v7, pg. 386, Dar Al Fikr, Lebanon).

The noteworthy point here is that a celebrated scholar of Makkah issues a verdict, but the people of Madinah directly refused to accept it. They only wanted to act upon the verdict of the imam Zaid ibn Thabit (radhiyallahu anhu). What happened later is another story, but the narration suggests that people from outside Makkah were not ready to accept a verdict passed by ibn Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) even in that period.

Even the Ulama of Madinah themselves have not accepted the practice of people in Madinah as a basis for action. They disputed with Imam Malik (rahmatullah alayh) in the issue of Khiyar al-Majlis, while he did not act upon the hadith “the deal is optional until the two parties depart”, because the people of Madinah did not act according to this hadith, yet Sa’id ibn al-Musayyib and ibn Shihab Zuhri, both scholars of Madinah, act according to this hadith, Imam Ibn Abi Dhiab, a contemporary scholar of Imam Malik (rahmatullah alayh) highly criticized the latter for his view in this issue, see Asbab al Ikhtilaaf al-Fuqaha, pg. 60, Cairo, Dar al-Fikr al-Arabi).

One of the most respected Syrian hadith scholars and researchers, Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah (rahimahullah), edited a book “Arba Rasa’il fi Ulum al-Hadith”. In the footnote, he also writes about the criticism of ibn Abi Dhi’ab on Imam Malik for not acting on the hadith “the deal is optional until the two parties depart”, (Arba Rasa’il fi Ulum al-Hadith p. 24, Maktabah al Matbuat al-Islamia Halab).

Thus, even the residents of Madinah do not accept the practices in their city as a base for action. So, those who present the practices in Saudi Arabia or Haramain as solid base for action in this evil times have no words to refute it. In the best period of Islam, even the Madinah based Ulama and Fuqaha abhorred the practiced accustomed in the city.

Some hadith scholars of Hijaz including Imam Malik viewed that the ahadith with Iraq or Syria based chain of narrators were not reliable as long as they do not find a root in Hijaz.

It simply means that all the Hijazi ahadith were reliable, as opposed to the Iraqi and Syrian ahadith, they cannot be reliable as long as they do not have any narrator from Hijaz. But the majority of scholars have rejected this view. Imam Sha’fi also held the same view before, but later on he took it back. Most of the scholars opine that the hadith is reliable, if its chain of narrators is solid, no matter the chain is from Hijaz, Syria, Iraq or Kufa.

Imam Abu Da’ud al-Sijistani wrote a book in which he collected ahadith with the chain ofnarrators based in different cities. The book covers only the ahadith which are narrated from the narrators of only one city (for details, read Allamah Ibn Taimiyyah, Rafa al-Malaiman Aimmah al-‘Alam: p. 21, Majmu’al-Fatawa: v. 20. p. 317).

Some people, owing to their narrow mindedness, want to impose every act practiced in Saudi Arabia on the entire world and narrow the vast nature of Islam. But they should take a lesson from the broad mindedness of Imam Malik. Caliph Harun al Rashid wished to enforce Muwatta of Imam Malik throughout the word as a primary book of law. But Imam Malik suggested to him not to do that, because the Companions had spread in every region. They narrated ahadith in every place. Thus, the people of every region had acquired knowledge from those Companions, while Imam Malik had collected the knowledge of only Madinah. (Majmu’ al Fatawa: V. 2, p. 311, Faid al-Qadir. V.1, p. 209)

In short, Imam Malik who was the greatest scholar of his time in Hijaz did not like his book to be enforced in every city even in that period. Thus, no one has the right today to enforce the practices of Saudi Arabia on the entire world.

These are the seven evidences which just suffice to prove the view. The number seven is a unique number that covers the implications of all numbers, as Imam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawzi writes in his book. (Zad al-Ma’ad; v. 3, p. 46, Maktabah al-Maurid). In view of the unique nature of the number seven, we can say that not only seven evidences, but many more which suffice to establish the actual view, remove the dispute and satisfy the mind.

At last, I would like to present a logical point.

Some irrational authors lavishly of the virtues of Saudi Arabia today and therefore try to impose the practice of the holy city on the whole. Following in the same footsteps, if the people of Syria too begin to speak of their virtues, consider every act of their country to be a solid base for actions and invite the entire world to follow them, will it be accepted from them? Never, because a virtue is one thing, while being hujjat or solid base for action is a totally different thing. For example, a hadith says: Ibn Hawalah (radhiyallahu anhu). narrates that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “It will turn out that you will be armed troops, one in Syria, one in Yemen and one in Iraq” Ibn Hawalah said: “Choose for me, Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), if I reach that time” He (saws) replied “Go to Syria, for it is Allah’s chosen land, to which his best servants will be gathered.” (Sunan Abi Da’ud and Musnad Ahmad) (Note that this has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with Islamic State – blog author)

The land of Syria is described as the ‘Sacred Land’ and whose environs we have blessed in the Holy Qur’an, and as “Allah’s chosen land” in this hadith. Muslims are directed to take shelter in Syria to avoid the fitnas. A hadith says: “So, what do you order us, O Messenger of Allah? He said: Go to Syria.” Sunan Tirmidhi # 2217)

In a yet another hadith, those who migrated to Syria are called ‘the best of people’. Abdullah Ibn Amr ibn al-As says: I heard the Apostle of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) say “There will be emigration after emigration and the people who are best will be those who cleave most closely to places which Abraham migrated. (Sunan Abi Da’ud # 2482)

Many more virtues have been narrated about Syria. The greatest virtue is that it accommodates Bait al-Maqdis whose virtue is known to all. So, keeping all these virtues in eyes, can anyone accept every act practiced in the country to be a solid base for action? The reply one gives about Syria will be given about Saudi Arabia too. At last, I would like to reiterate that the purpose of this article is not to disrespect Makkah or Madinah. It is also not intended that every act that is practiced over there is wrong. The only thing I would like to say is that the solid base for action is not confined only to the acts of the people residing in those cities. The truth and sunnah are found in other cities too and the actions of people residing in any region too are reliable. May Allah ta’ala grant us all the right wisdom and put us on the right path!

وعليكم السلام و رحمة الله و بركاته

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Analyzing the Proofs presented by Qabr Pujaris regarding Placing Cloth-Sheets (Chadar) and Flowers on the Graves

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It  is  most  certainly  not  proven  from  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam  or  the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) that  the  graves  of  the  pious  are  covered  in cloths  or  decorated  with  flowers.  There  were  graves  of  the Auliyaa  (in  the  former  eras),  there  were  cloths  and  flowers, there  were  people  who  could  place  these  on  the  graves, there  also  existed  greater  love  and  affection  for  the  pious then,  and  yet,  no  one  ever  placed  cloths  and  flowers  on  the graves.  This  act  has  not  only  gained  acceptance  nowadays, it  has  become  a  “rewarding  act!”  It  has  also  gained  the  rank of  being  a  sign  of  the  Ahle  Sunnat  and  a  sign  of  Islaam! 

As for  the  proof  of  the  Ahle  Bid`ah/Ahle Shirk/ Qabr Pujaris  which  they  take  from  the narration  of  Hadhrat  Ibn  Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu)  where  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  was passing  by  two  graves  and  he  took  a  date-palm  and  broke  it into  two  and  placed  on  the  graves,  explaining  that  as  long as  the  twigs  remains  green,  the  punishment  in  the  grave will  be  eased  for  the  inmates,  who  according  to  the narration  were  guilty  of  negligence  at  the  time  of  urinating and  carrying  tales.  [Mishkaat  Shareef,  vol.  1,  page  42]  This proof is totally incorrect and inapplicable. 

Firstly,  the  ease  in  the  punishment  in  the  graves  was owing  to  the  intercession  of  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  The  twigs  were  mere symbols  of  this.  In  this  regard,  Hadhrat  Jaabir  (radhiyallahu amhu) reports from  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  “Indeed  I  passed  by  two  graves  whose inmates  were  being  punished.  I  wanted  that  this (punishment)  be  lifted  from  them  owing  to  my  intercession, as  long  as  the  twigs  remained  green.”  [Muslim  Shareef, vol. 2, page 418]

Even  though  the  recitation  of  Qur`aan  Majeed,  Tasbeehaat and  even  greenery,  are  means  of  easing  the  difficulties  in the  grave,  the  lessening  of  punishment  in  the  graves  in  this particular  incident,  was  owing  to  the  intercession  of  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  and  the  twigs  were  mere  symbols  and  indications  of  this.

The  error  of  Mufti  Ahmad  Yaar  Khaan  is  manifest  when he  states,  “The  lessening  of  the  punishment  in  the  graves was  owing  to  the  blessing  of  the  Tasbeeh  of  the  green  twigs and  not  only  the  dua  of  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  If  the  easing  of  the punishment  was  due  to  the  dua’  of  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  then  why  was  the condition  of  it  becoming  dry  stipulated?  Hence,  if  we  place flowers  etc.  by  the  grave,  it  will  have  some  beneficial effects, Insha-Allaah.” [Jaa-al Haqq, page 284]

Mufti  Saheb,  if  the  punishment  was  lessened  because  of the  twigs,  then  why  was  the  condition  of  green  stipulated?? The  Qur`aan  Majeed  states  that  everything  makes  the Tasbeeh  of  Allaah  Ta`ala,  be  it  wet  or  dry.  “And  there  is nothing,  except  that  it  hymns  His  praises,  but  you  do  not understand its Tasbeeh.”

Note:  The  incident  reported  in  the  narrations  of  both, Hadhrat  Ibn  Abbaas  and  Jaabir (radhiyallahu anhu)  is  the  same.  However there  is  a  difference  between  the  interpretations  of  two narrators.  Such  occurrences  do  occur  in  Ilm-e-Hadith. Imaam  Nawawi  (rahmatullah  alayh)  and  Allamah  Khattabi (rahmatullah  alayh)  agree  that  the  incident  in  both narrations  is  the  same.  Even  if  the  incidents  are  not  the same,  as  reported  by  Haafidh  Ibn  Hajar  (rahmatullah alayh)  [Fat-hul  Baari,  vol.  1,  page  276],  then  too  there  is  no problem.  That  narration  which  has  the  commentary  of  the intercession  of  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  is  also  applicable  to  the  narration which  does  not  have  this  commentary.  Hence  the  actual and  real  reason  and  cause  for  the  lessening  of  the punishment  in  the  graves  was  the  intercession  of  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam. The  Ahaadith—some  explain  others. 

Secondly,  these  twigs,  used  by  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  were  not  from  any normal  or  common  tree.  In  fact,  it  is  explicitly  narrated  in Muslim  Shareef,  vol.  2,  page  418,  that  these  twigs  were from  such  a  tree  which  miraculously  presented  itself before Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and thereafter returned to its place.

Thirdly,  even  if  we  accept  this  narration  as  proof,  then  too, it only proves the use of wet twigs, not flowers, cloths, etc.

Fourthly,  if  we  finally  concede  that  this  narration  proves that  wet  twigs  ease  the  punishment  in  the  graves,  and  also that  this  same  cause  exists  in  flowers,  then  too  this  will only  apply  to  the  graves  of  sinners  and  faasiqs.  How  can  it ever  be  implemented  on  the  graves  of  the  Pious Auliya-e-Kiraam (Alayhim Ar-Rahmah)??  Because  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  placed  these  twigs  on  the  graves of  two  sinners  and  not  on  that  of  a  Wali (friend of Allah).  [see  Umdatul Qaari, vol.1, page 877]

Fifthly,  it  has  never  been  proven  from  the  lives  of  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  , Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) or  anyone  of  the  Khairul  Quroon,  where  they placed green twigs or flowers on the graves of any deceased sahaabi. 

There  remains  now  the  issue  of  Hadhrat  Bareedah  bin Khaseeb (radhiyallahu anhu) who  made  bequest  to  place  a  green  twig  on  his grave. [Bukhaari Shareef, vol.1, page 181]

Some  scholars  mention  that  it  is  possible  he  made  this bequest  owing  to  his  humility,  considering  himself  to  be  a sinner. 

The  question  is,  has  anyone  of  the  Khairul  Quroon ever  placed  green  twigs  on  the  graves  of  those  whom  they considered  Walis?  Is  this  also  proof  for  placing  a  cloth  on  a grave?? 

Mufti  Ahmed  Yaar  Khaan  avers  that  Hadhrat  Maulana Ashraf  Ali  Thaanvi  (rahmatullah  alayh)  wrote  in  Islaahur Rusoom  that  flowers  etc.  be  placed  on  the  graves  of  sinners and  faasiqs  and  not  the  pious.  Their  graves  are  free  of  any punishment  which  the  flowers  etc.  would  be  a  cause  of reduction.  It  should  however  be  considered  those  actions  of the  sinners  for  which  it  is  a  means  of  defence,  it  benefits the Saaliheen with higher stages. [Jaa-al Haqq, page 284]

Mufti  Saheb  gloats  over  this  point,  but  he  has  not considered  the  general  principle  that  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and  the Sahaabah (alayhim ar ridhwan)  were  also  aware  of  this,  so,  why  did  they  not place  flowers  on  the  graves  of  the  pious??  How  come  they deprived the Saaliheen from this rank-elevation?? 

Similarly,  this  Qiyaas (analogy)  of  Mufti  Ahmed  Yaar  Khaan  is  also baatil  and  rejected  that  there  is  life  in  one  fresh  flower, therefore  it  hymns  Tasbih  and  Tahleel,  which  either  earns rewards  for  the  deceased  or  reduces  his  punishment,  and  it also  affords  the  visitors  to  the  grave  a  sweet  scent.  Hence, it  is  permissible  to  place  it  on  the  grave  of  every  Muslim. [Jaa-al Haqq, page 283]

It  is  an  accepted  fact  known  to  all  that  everything  hymns the  praises  of  Allaah  Ta’ala.  The  Qur’aan-e-Majeed  bears testimony  to  this  fact,  so  why  differentiate  between  wet and  dry??  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and  the  Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum)  were  well  aware  of this  fact  also,  but  they  did  not  put  it  into  practice.  To  top  it all,  what  wetness,  greenery  or  life  is  there  in  a  cloth,  which makes  it  permissible  to  place  it  on  a  grave??  The  view  of one  who  is  not  sinless  neither  a  Mujtahid  is  not  proof  in  the Shari’ah

As  for  the  statement  of  Imaam  Shaami (rahmatullah  alayh)  and  others  that  it  is  permissible  to place  a  cover  on  the  graves  because  it  is  a  means  of honouring  the  inmate  of  the  grave,  etc.,  etc.  is  not  worthy of  any  consideration,  because  besides  this  being  the  view of  a  non-Mujtahid  it  is  also  without  proof.  Honouring  graves  is  no  new  fad,  that  we  need  to  rely  on  or  accept  the Qiyaas  of  the  Muta-akhireen.  During  the  era  of Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam,  the  Sahaabah (ridhwanAllahu anhum),  Tabieen  and  Tabe-Tabieen (rahmatullah  alayhim),  there  were  also  graves,  but  this  was never  their  custom.  Therefore  we  are  not  in  need  of  any imagined  and  pseudo  honour  or  respect.  As  they  had  done, we will do. 

As  for  the  Qiyaas  of  Mufti  Ahmed  Yaar  Khaan,  that  the origin  of  a  chader  lies  in  the  fact  that  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did  not prevent  from  the  Ghilaaf  (Kaaba  cover)  being  used.  For centuries  a  valuable  green  silk  cloth  was  placed  on  the blessed  grave  of  Nabi  ρ.  Until  this  day  no  one  had prohibited  it.  There  is  also  a  Ghilaaf  on  the  Maqaam-e Ebrahim. [Jaa-al Haqq, page 285]

This  is  Qiyaas  ma`al-Faariq (illogical  and  baseless reasoning).  The  Ghilaaf  used  to  be  placed  on  the  Kaaba during  the  time  of  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and  he  did  not  change  this tradition,  therefore  this  is  an  actual  Sunnat.  [see  Bukhaari Shareef, vol.2 page 613]

Similarly  even  if  the  use  of  a  Ghilaaf  on  Maqaam-e Ebrahim  is  established,  then  it  appears  that  it  was  only done  during  the  Khairul  Quroon and  to  equate  this  and make  Qiyaas  of  it  on  placing  a  cloth  on  graves  is  illogical. All  praise  due  to  Allaah  Ta`ala  that  this  humble  writer  has performed  Hajj  twice,  but  never  noticed  a  Ghilaaf  being used on the Maqaam-e-Ebrahim

As  for  the  covering  on  the  blessed  grave  of  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  it should  be  remembered  that  his  ghusl,  burial  and  grave  etc. is  a  unique  thing,  which  cannot  be  applied  as  a  general practice  for  the  masses.  

The ‘wonderful’ proof of the Mufti Saheb

Mufti  Ahmed  Yaar  Khaan  writes  that  the  Auliya  of  Allaah Ta`ala  and  their  graves  are  amongst  the  Shi`aar  (signs)  of Allaah  Ta’ala,  therefore  respecting  the  Shi’aar  of  Allaah Ta`ala,  i.e.  the  signs  of  Deen  is  a  Qur’aanic  injunction— ‘And  he  who  honours  the  Signs  of  Allaah  Ta`ala  indeed that  it  is  from  the  piety  of  hearts’.  There  are  no  conditions placed  on  the  rendering  of  this  honour.  Whatever  form  of honour  is  customary  and  practiced  amongst  people  is permissible.  To  place  flowers  on  their  graves,  cloths, lanterns,  etc.  are  all  tokens  of  honour,  hence  permissible. [Jaa-al Haqq, page 283]

Mufti  Saheb  has,  in  his  research  also  categorized  the graves  of  the  Auliya  as  being  among  the  Signs  of  Allaah Ta`ala!  Hadhrat  Shah  Waliullah  Saheb  (rahmatullah  alayh) has  enumerated  the  Shi`aar  of  Allaah  Ta`ala  as  being four—Qur`aan  Majeed,  Kaabah,  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and  Salaat [Hujjatullah,  vol.  1,  page  70]—No  mention  is  made  of graves,  however  Mufti  Saheb’s  research  has  led  him  to include  the  graves  as  being  amongst  the  Signs  of  Allaah Ta`ala.  The  Ulama  of  Aqaaid  have  expressly  stated  that besides  those  whom  Allaah  Ta`ala  and  Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  have singled  out  with  a  good  ending  (i.e.  vouched  for  their salvation),  we  cannot  say  with  certainty  regarding  anyone else.  We  only  have  a  good  opinion  regarding  them.  How then  can  we  claim  the  wilaayat  of  anyone  with  certainty?? And  then,  further,  how  can  we  ever  make  their  graves  the Shi`aar  of  Allaah  Ta`ala??  Now  according  to  the  mufti Saheb,  the  honour  can  be  endowed  upon  these  ‘shi`aar’  by placing  flowers,  cloths  and  lanterns  upon  them!  It  has  been mentioned  before  that  neither  did  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) nor  the  Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) ever  place  twigs/flowers  on  the  graves  of  any  wali.  The case  of  Hadhrat  Bareeda (rashiyallahu anhu)  was  unique.  In  fact,  greenery  is only  placed  on  the  graves  of  sinners.  This  is  a  rather strange shi`aar  of  Allaah  Ta’ala  and  wali,  where  we  first envisage  him  to  be  sinner  and  then  place  flowers  etc.  on his grave. May Allaah Ta`ala save us!

How  can  honour  and  respect  ever  be  shown  to  a shi`aar  of Allaah  Ta`ala  via  the  means  of  something  which  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has  cursed  (i.e.  lanterns  at  the  graves)?  What  strange reasoning  spews  forth  from  the  likes  of  Mufti  Ahmad  Yaar Khaan!  Or  does  he  aver  that  all  this  is  proven  from  the Qur`aanic  Aayat??  May  Allaah  Ta`ala  save  us  many  times over!

This  type  of  honour  is  never  gleaned  from  the  Qur`aanic Aayat  nor  from  the  practice  of  the  Sahaabah (radhiyallahu amhum).  If  it  were the  case,  then  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  would  not  have  cursed  this  act, neither  would  Sahaabah  like  Hadhrat  ‘Amr  bin  `Aas (radhiyallahu anhu) ever  have  made  the  bequest  that  they  did.  What  strange beings  these  Ahle  Bid`ah  are—they  regard  impermissible  and Haraam  acts  as  being  rewarding  and  beneficial. May Allah Ta’ala save the masses from their deceptions. Aameen!.

CONCLUSION

The placing of sheets on graves is also forbidden. None of the graves during the honourable period of Rasulullah salalahu alayhi wa salam, sahabah, Tab’ien had sheets placed on them.

Allamah ibn Aabideen Shaami  (Rahmatullahi alayh) says:

It is mentioned in Ahkam on the authority of Hujjaj that the placing of Sheets on graves is Makrooh. (Durre Mukhtaar pg228 Vol2)

Note: The above statement from ibn Aabideen al-Shaami proves that the analogy of covering ghilaaf for the kaaba cannot be applied for covering the graves, both are separate issues with separate rules altogether.

The Burning of Lamps and Lights on Graves

Rasulullah (sallalahu alayhi wa sallam) did not only prohibit us from burning lamps, lights, candles, etc. but also cursed those observing these customs. Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) says:

Rasulullah salalahu alayhi wa sallam has cursed those women who go to the graves and those people who make graves places of Sajdah (prostration) and those who burn lamps and lights at graves.

Allama Ali Qari Hanafi (rahimahullah) commentating on this hadith says

‘The prohibition of burning lights, lamps, candles etc. at graves is because it is unnecessary spending of wealth there exists no benefit in the burning of such lights and lamps consisting of fire and these are actually signs of Jahannam.

Hadhrat Qadi Thana ullah pani Pati Says: “The raising of the Auliya’s graves, erecting of walls and domes, making of urs, burning of lamps, are all innovations- among these, some are haraam while others are makrooh.

Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) cursed those who burn lamps etc. and make sajdah at graves. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is reported to have said: Do not make my grave a place of worship. Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) commanded Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) to flatten all raised graves and destroy all pictures of animate thing

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