التوحيد at-Tawhid

Author Topic: Closing the Doors to Shirk  (Read 635 times)

Uswat'ul Hasana

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Closing the Doors to Shirk
« on: 19.04.2016, 03:08:23 AM »
بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Closing the Doors to Shirk

Shaykh’ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah
Majmu’ul Fatawa, 17/460-467

"Shirk in the world began with the worship of Salihin (righteous) men and their statues. Another cause of Shirk was the worship of heavenly bodies, let it be the sun, the moon, and other stars; statues of these bodies were carved out and worshiped. The Shirk of the people of Ibrahim (alayhi salam) –Allah knows- was of this kind and partly of the other kind. Another cause of Shirk was the worship of Malaika (pli, Malak; angels) and Jinns; they, too, were represented in statues. To be sure, statues are not worshiped for their own sake; they are worshiped for other reasons. In the case of the Arabs, the main reason for their Shirk was the first, although other factors also contributed to its growth.

The man who first changed the religion of Ibrahim (alayhi salam) was Amr Ibn Luhayy. He visited Syria and saw that people at Balqa prayed to idols to avert evil and secure good. Returning to Makkah, he introduced the same practice. This was the time when the tribe of Khuza’ah ruled Makkah, that is to say, before the Quraysh supplanted them. Amr was the head of the Khuza’ah. In the Sahihayn (two Sahih i.e., Bukhari and Muslim) that Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

‏رأيت عَمْرو بن لُحَي بن قَمَعَة بن خِنْدِفَ يجر قصْبَهُ في النار‏

"I saw ‘Amr Ibn Luhayy Ibn Jam’ah Ibn Khundaf crawling on his belly in the Fire." (Bukhari, Tafsir, 5/13, Manaqib, #9, al-Amal fi’s Salah, #2; Muslim, Jannah, #51, Kusuf, #9-10; Nasa’i, Kusuf, #11; Ahmad, Musnad, 1/46, 2/275, 2/366, 3/318, 3/353, 3/374, 5/137)

Luhayy was the one who introduced changes in the religion of Ibrahim (alayhi salam). He let loose, for example, a she-camel for free pasture, or set free one whose ears were slit. Among the people of Nuh (alayhi salam) Shirk –Allah knows- spread in the same way; it began with the worship of Salihin of the community. Shaytan incites people to take sometimes one way and sometimes the other way. However, the worship of Salihin is the most common way, for people know them very well, see that their prayers are answered, and enjoy their blessings. When they die they visit their graves and pray at them; sometimes they beg from them, and sometimes they beg from Allah with them, and sometimes they offer Salah near their graves under the impression that it is Afdal (better) to offer Salah and pray for one’s needs near their graves rather than in the mosques or at home.

Since this is the door from which Shirk has entered various communities Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) set out to close it, as he closed many other doors, such as the worship of stars. Muslim has recorded the Hadith that five days before his death the Prophet addressed the people and said:

‏إن من كان قبلكم كانوا يتخذون القبور مساجد، ألا فلا تتخذوا القبور مساجد، فإني أنهاكم عن ذلك‏

"People before you used to say prayers at graves. Beware, do not turn graves into mosques; I forbid it absolutely." (Muslim, Masajid, #19-23; Nasa’i, Janaiz, #106; Darimi, Salah, #120)

In Sahihayn (both Muslim and Bukhari) have recorded that once when it was mentioned to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) that churches in Habash (Ethiopia) were extremely beautiful and exquisitely adorned with pictures (on the walls), he (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

‏إن أولئك إذا مات فيهم الرجل الصالح بنوا على قبره مسجدًا، وصوروا فيه تلك الصور، أولئك هم شرار الخلق عند الله يوم القيامة‏

"People there used to build mosques near the graves of their holy men and draw figures (on the walls). To be sure, they will be among the most wretched people on Yawm’ul Qiyamah (the Day of Judgment)." (Bukhari, Salah, #48, #54, Janaiz, #70, Manaqib’ul Ansar, #37; Muslim, Masajid, #16; Nasa’i, Masajid, #13; Ahmad, Musnad, 6/51)

They have also reported that on his deathbed the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

‏لعن الله اليهود والنصارى اتخذوا قبور أنبيائهم مساجد يحذر ما فعلوا‏

"Allah has cursed the Jews and the Christians who have turned the graves of their prophets into mosques. You must keep away from what they have done." (Muslim, Masajid, #19, #23; Abu Dawud, Janaiz, #72; Nasa’i, Masajid, #13, Janaiz, #106; Darimi, Salah, #120; Ahmad, Musnad, 1/218, 2/260, 2/284-285, 2/296, 2/396, 2/454, 2/518, 5/184, 5/186, 5/204, 6/34, 6/80, 6/121, 6/146, 6/229, 6/252, 6/255, 6/274-275; Malik, Muwatta, Madinah, #17)
Commenting on this Hadith, A’ishah (radiyallahu anha) said:

ولولا ذلك لأبرز قبره، ولكن كره أن يتخذ مسجدًا

"Had the Prophet not warned people in this way, they would have opened his grave to the people. But they did not do that because they feared that people might turn it into a mosque." (Bukhari, Janaiz, #61, #96; Muslim, Masajid, #19, #22)

Ahmad in his Musnad and Abi Hatim in his Sahih have also recorded these words of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam):

إن من شرار الناس من تدركهم الساعة وهم أحياء، والذين يتخذون القبور مساجد‏

"The worst people on earth are those who will see the Hour (of Judgment) coming and will be offering prayers at graves." (Bukhari, Fitan, #5; Ahmad, Musnad,  1/405, 1/434-435)

Abu Dawud has recorded in his Sunan and also others recorded that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) warned:

‏لا تتخذوا قبري عيدًا، وصلوا على حيثما كنتم فإن صلاتكم تبلغني‏

"Don’t hold any festive function at my grave; send your blessings to me from where you are, for your blessings will be conveyed to me." (Abu Dawud, Adab, #76; Darimi, Isti’dhan, #63; Ahmad, Musnad, 5/284, 5/294, 5/298)

Malik has recorded in his Muwatta this prayer of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam):

‏‏اللهم لا تجعل قبري وثنًا يعبد، اشتد غضب الله على قوم اتخذوا قبور أنبيائهم مساجد‏‏

"Lord! Let not my grave be turned into an object of worship. Surely your wrath falls on the people who turn the graves of their prophets into a place of worship." (Ahmad, Musnad, 2/367; Malik, Muwatta, Safar, #85)

Muslim has recorded that Abu’l Hayyaj al-Asadi said that:

ألا أبعثك على ما بعثني عليه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، أمرني ألا أدع قبرًا مشرفًا إلا سوىته، ولا تمثالًا إلا طمسته‏.‏ فأمره بمحو التمثالين‏:‏ الصورة الممثلة على صورة الميت، والتمثال الشاخص المشرف فوق قبره، فإن الشرك يحصل بهذا وبهذا‏

"Ali Ibn Abi Talib (radiyallahu anh) once asked him whether he could send him on a mission like the one Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) had sent him earlier. And then he commanded him to level all the graves which he would come across, and knock down all statues that he would find. He also commanded him to erase the pictures of dead people and remove the images that were set up on their graves." (Muslim, Janaiz, #93; Abu Dawud, Janaiz, #68; Tirmidhi, Janaiz, #56; Nasa’i, Janaiz, #99; Ahmad, Musnad, 1/96, 1/129)

Both are causes of Shirk. It is reported that:

عمر بن الخطاب  رضي الله عنه  أنه كان في سفر فرأى قومًا ينتابون مكانًا للصلاة فقال‏:‏ ما هذا‏؟‏ فقالوا‏:‏ هذا مكان صلى فيه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، فقال‏:‏ إنما هلك من كان قبلكم بهذا، أنهم اتخذوا آثار أنبيائهم مساجد، من أدركته الصلاة فليصل، وإلا فليمض‏

"Once on a journey Umar (radiyallahu anh) passed by a place which people used to visit and offer Salah. He inquired about it, and said: What is this? It was told that it was the place where Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) once offered some prayers. Thereupon Umar (radiyallahu anh) said: People before you were annihilated for acts like this; they offered prayers to things associated with their prophets. When the time for Salah comes here, make that Salah here; otherwise move on." (Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat’ul Kubra, 2/16; Abd’ur Razzaq, Musannaf, 2/118; Ibn Abi Shaybah, Musannaf, 2/375; Ibn Hajar, Fath’ul Bari, 7/448);

وبلغه أن قومًا يذهبون إلى الشجرة التي بايع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أصحابه تحتها فأمر بقطعها‏

"He (i.e., Umar ibn’ul Khattab) also came to know that people were visiting the tree where Ashab (the Companions) of Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) had pledged their fealty (at the time of Hudaybiyyah). He commanded it to be cut down." (Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat’ul Kubra, 2/16; Abd’ur Razzaq, Musannaf, 2/118; Ibn Abi Shaybah, Musannaf, 2/375; Ibn Hajar, Fath’ul Bari, 7/448)

وأرسل إليه أبو موسى يذكر له أنه ظهر بتستر قبر دانيال، وعنده مصحف فيه أخبار ما سيكون، قد ذكر فيه أخبار المسلمين، وأنهم إذا أجدبوا كشفوا عن القبر فمطروا، فأرسل إليه عمر يأمره أن يحفر بالنهار ثلاثة عشر قبرًا، ويدفنه بالليل في واحد منها لئلا يعرفه الناس؛ لئلا يفتنوا به‏

"Abu Musa (radiyallahu anh) wrote to him that people had discovered the grave of the prophet Daniel at Tustar. It had a book which told of future events and what would happen to the Muslims; it foretold that they would have a draught and come to the grave and open it up and get rain. Umar (radiyallahu anh) commanded him to dig thirteen graves at daytime and bury the remains of that grave in one of them at night so that people might be saved from a great evil."

To sum up: Allah and His Prophet prohibited praying towards graves, even if no mosque is built on them. That act is certainly a greater evil.

Likewise the Ulama (pl., Alim; scholars) said: It is prohibited to construct mosques over graves, and it is a necessity to dismantle the mosques which were constructed over the graves. They have also said that if a body had been buried in a grave inside a mosque and a long period had lapsed, the grave must be leveled so that it may not be recognized. If any signs remain, Shirk may raise its head any time. The land where we have Masjid’un Nabawi (the Prophet’s Mosque) now had a graveyard earlier where pagans would bury their dead. There were also some date trees and ruins there. When the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) wanted to build the mosque, he had the graves removed, the trees cut down, and the ruined structures leveled. Only then did he build the mosque on that ground.


In Sahihayn it was narrated from Abi Hurayrah (radiyallahu anh) and Abi Sa’id (radiyallahu anh) that Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

‏لا تشد الرحال إلا إلى ثلاثة مساجد‏:‏ المسجد الحرام، والمسجد الأقصى، ومسجدي هذا‏

"No (religious) journey is to be undertaken except to (pray in) the three mosques: Masjid’al Haraam (The Sacred Mosque in Makkah), Masjid’al Aqsa (the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem), and this Mosque of mine (Masjid Nabawi in Madinah)." (Bukhari, #1189, #1197, #1864, #1995; Muslim, #1397; Abu Dawud, #2033; Tirmidhi, #326; Ibn Ma’ajah, #1574-1575; Nasa’i, #700)


Neither Sahaba (i.e., the Companions) nor Tabiin (their successors) built a mosque on the grave of any prophet or Salih (holy man), nor did they build any tomb or shrine there. Nor did they put up anything on any place associated with any Anbiya (prophets), where he might have spent some time, or done any thing. They never thought of building any mosque on the relics of Anbiya or Salihin.

Jumhur (the majority) of the Sahaba never made it a point to visit a place which Rasul (the Prophet) did not deliberately choose to encamp or offer Salah and had done so just incidentally. In fact, leading personalities among them, such as Umar Ibn’ul Khattab (radiyallahu anh) and others would stop people from visiting those places and offering Salah there where Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) had prayed incidentally and not deliberately. It is of course reported of Ibn Umar (radiyallahu anhuma ajmain) that he would deliberately take the way Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) had walked or ridden on his journeys, stop at the places where he had stopped, offer Salah where he had offered Salah, even though he knew that the Prophet did not do so deliberately but just incidentally. Ibn Umar (radiyallahu anhuma ajmain) would do that as he tried to imitate Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) as closely as he could. However, his father, the other three rightly-guided caliphs, Uthman (radiyallahu anh) the rest of Asharai Mubashshara (the ten Companions promised Paradise), and many others like Ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu anh), Mu’adh Ibn Jabal (radiyallahu anh), and Ubayy Ibn Ka’b (radiyallahu anh) would not do what Ibn Umar (radiyallahu anhuma ajmain) used to do. And the practice of Jumhur of the Companions is right.

The reason is clear. To follow the Prophet means to do as he did, in the way he did, and because he did it. If he planned to offer Salah or perform any rite at a particular place, offering or performing that rite at that place would be following him. But if he did not plan to do any such thing at a particular place, for us to plan on doing it there would be opposing rather than following him."
Shaykh’ul Islam Ibnu Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) said:

وكل قول ينفرد به المتأخر عن المتقدمين، ولم يسبقه إليه أحد منهم، فإنه يكون خطأ كما قال الإمام أحمد بن حنبل‏‏

"All statements that had been said by the Mutaakhirrin (latter ones) differing from the Mutaqaddimin (predecessors) and that had not been previously mentioned by any other, is a mistake. As Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahullah) said:

‏إياك أن تتكلم في مسألة ليس لك فيها إمام‏

"Refrain from speaking about a matter without an Imam!.." (Ibnu Taymiyyah, Majma’ul Fatawa, 21/291)


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