Wird Sahib al-Khalwa

Sahib al-Khalwa (صاحب الخلوة) and Khalwat Nayagam (ஃகல்வத் நாயகம்) are the epithets of the celebrated South Indian Arabic scholar and ascetic Gnostic, Sayyid Abdul Qadir b. Sayyid Muhammad al-Kirkari al-Siddiqi (qaddasa sirrahu – d. 1912). He was the esteemed elder son of our Grand-Shaikh, Imam al-‘Arus (qaddasa sirrahu). Both father and son are buried side-by-side at the Arusiyya Tekke in Kilakkarai.

Sahib al-Khalwa renounced worldly pursuits at a relatively early age. He immersed himself completely in the spiritual domain by spending 33 years in seclusion [khalwa] in 3 locations. The result of this was the inspired composition of poetical and prose works on advanced spirituality. These have been compiled and published under the title: “Ulum ad-Din“.

Amongst his legacy is the following seemingly simple but spiritually powerful wird or “litany”. There is a general ijaza or “permission” for its recital by all. To commemorate his passing on 22 Shawwal, we are honoured to release this ornamented presentation of the Wird and accompanying Du’a, together with an English translation.

Success is from Allah and He is the Guide.

Arabic Text

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحٖيْمِ

اَلْفَاتِحَةُ اِلٰى حَضْرَةِ حَبِيْبِ الْمُصْطَفٰى وَاَحْمَدَ الْمُقْطَفٰى وَمُحَمَّدٍ الْمُجْتَبٰى ﷺ وَعَلٰى اٰلِهِ وَاَصْحَابِهِ وَاَتْبَاعِهِ وَقَرَابَتِهِ وَالْاَوْلِيَآءِ وَالصِّدِّيْقِيْنَ وَالشُّهَدَآءِ وَالصَّالِحِيْنَ والْعُلَمَآءِ الْعَامِلِيْنَ ،ثُمَّ الْاِخْلَاصِ ؀۳ وَالْمُعَوِّذَتَيْنِ وَاٰيَةُ الْكُرْسِى

  • بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ عَلٰى نَفْسِىْ وَدِيْنِىْ وَاَهْلِىْ وَمَالِىْ ؀١٠٠
  • اَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ الْعَظِيْمِ ؀١٠٠
  • اِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَاِنَّ اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ ؀١٠٠
  • لَا حَوْلَ وَلَا قُوَّةَ اِلَّا بِاللّٰهِ الْعَلِىِّ الْعَظِيْمِ ؀١٠٠
  • حَسْبُنَا اللهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيْلُ ؀١٠٠
  • سُبْحَانَ الله ؀١٠٠
  • اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰه ؀١٠٠
  • اَللهُ اَڪْبَرُ ؀١٠٠
  • لَا اِلٰهَ اِلَّا اللهُ ؀١٠٠
  • اَللّٰهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَبَارِكْ عَلٰى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَّاٰلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ، عَدَدَ مَافِى عِلْمِ اللّٰهِ، صَلَاةً دَائِمَةً بِدَوَامِ مُلْكِ اللّٰهِ، ؀١٠٠

(الدُّعَاءُ) اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الْعٰلمِيْنَ، حَمْدًا يُّوَافِىْ نِعَمَهُ وَيُكَافِىْ مَزِيْدَهُ، يَا رَبَّنَا لَكَ الْحَمْدُ كَمَا يَنْبَغِىْ لِجَلَالِ وَجْهِكَ وَلِعَظِيْمِ سُلْطَانِكَ، اَللّٰهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَبَارِكْ عَلٰى سَيِّدِنَا وَمَوْلَانَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلٰى اٰلِهِ وَاَصْحَابِهِ وَعَلٰى جَمِيْعِ الْاَنْبِيَاءِ وَالْمُرْسَلِيْنَ، وَعَلٰى جِبْرِيْلَ وَمِيْكَائِيْلَ وَاِسْرَافِيْلَ وَمَلَكِ الْمَوْتِ وَحَمَلَةِ الْعَرْشِ وَعَلَى الْمَلَائِكَةِ اَجْمَعِيْنَ وَعَلَى الْاَوْلِيَآءِ وَالْصَّالِحِيْنَ وَعَلٰى جَمِيْعِ عِبَادِكَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ فِىْ كُلِّ لَمْحَةٍ وَنَفَسٍ عَدَدَ مَاوَسِعَهُ عِلْمُكَ، اَللّٰهُمَّ اِنِّى اَسْئَلُكَ اِيْمَنًا يُبَاشِرُ قَلْبِىْ، اَللّٰهُمَّ اجْعَلْنِى مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِيْنَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ الْمُخْلِصِيْنَ، اَللّٰهُمَّ ارْزُقْنِىْ عِلْمَ التَّوْحِيْدِ وَعَمَلَ الْاِخْلَاصِ وَحُسْنَ الْخَاطِمَة، اَللّٰهُمَّ نَوِّرْ قَلْبِىْ بِنُوْرِ مَعْرِفَتِكَ يَا الله يَا الله يا الله، اَللّٰهُمَّ ارْزُقْنِىْ حُبَّكَ وَحُبَّ مَنْ يُحِبُّكَ وَحُبَّ مَا يُقَرِّبُنِىْ اِلٰى حُبِّكَ وَاجْعَلْ حُبَّكَ اَحَبَّ اِلَيَّ مِنَ الْمَاءِ الْبَرْدِ، اَللّٰهُمَّ لَا تَجْعَلَ الدُّنْيَا اَكْبَرَ هَمِّنَا وَلَا تَجْعَلْ مُصِيْبَتَنَا فِىْ دِيْنِنَا، اَللّٰهُمَّ زَهِّدْنَا فِى الدُّنْيَا، اَللّٰهُمَّ اَرِنَا الدُّنْيَا كَمَا اَرَيْتَهَا الصَّالِحِيْنَ مِنْ عِبَادِكَ، ﴿رَبَّنَا اٰتِنَا مِنْ لَّدُنْكَ رَحْمَةً وَهَيِّءْ لَنَا مِنْ اَمْرِنَا رَشَدًا﴾ وَصَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلٰى سَیِّدِنَا وَمَوْلَانَا مُحَمَّدِنِ الَّذِىْ اَرْسَلْتَهُ بِالْحَقِّ بَشِیْرًا وَّنَذِیْرًا، وَعَلٰى اٰلِهٖ واَصْحَابِهِ الَّذِیْنَ طَھَّرْتَھُمْ مِنَ الدَّنَسِ تَطْھِیْرًا، وَسَلَّـمَ تَسْلِیْمًا كَثِیْرًا طَیِّبًا مُبَارَكًا كَافِیًا جَزِیْلًا جَمِیْلًا دَائِمًا بِدَوَامِ مُلْكِ اللّٰهِ، وَبِقُدْرَتِ عَظَمَةِ ذَاتِكَ، یَا اَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِیْنَ، ﴿سُبْحَانَ رَبِّكَ رَبِّ الْعِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُوْنَ، وَسَلَامٌ عَلَى الْمُرْسَلِيْنَ، وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ ﴾

English Translation

In the Name of Allah
the Universally Merciful, the Singularly Compassionate

Al-Fatiha to the noble presence of the Chosen Beloved ﷺ and upon the (souls) of his kin and kith, the Saints, the truthful, the martyrs, the veracious, and the scholars.

(Then al-Ikhlāṣ (thrice), al-Falaq, an-Nāss, and ayat al-kursī)

Wird – Litany

  • 100 times “In the name of Allah, the Universally Merciful, the Singularly Compassionate upon my self, my religion, my family and my property!”
  • 100 times “I seek forgiveness from Allāh, the incomparably Great!”
  • 100 times “We surely belong to Allah and to Him we will return!”
  • 100 times “There is no strength or power, except with Allāh—the Most High, the Supreme in Glory!”
  • 100 times “Allāh is sufficient for us and He is the best trustee of affairs.”
  • 100 times “Glory be to Allah!”
  • 100 times “Praise be to Allah!”
  • 100 times “Allah is Greater!”
  • 100 times “There is none worthy of worship but Allah!”
  • 100 times “O Allāh, whelm blessings and peace on our liege Muḥammad r, his family and companions, in the number that is in Your Knowledge, such blessings as may continue forever eternal as Your Kingdom.”

Du’a – Supplication

Praise be to Allāh, Lord of the Worlds, in the measure of His blessings and commensurate with His increase of them. Our Lord, all praise belongs to You as much as befits Your Glory and Sublime Majesty. O Allāh, whelm salutations, peace, and blessings upon our liege and patron Muhammad ﷺ and his kith and kin , and all the Prophets and Messengers, and upon Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, the Angel of Death, and the bearers of the Throne, and upon all the Angels, and upon the intimate friends and the righteous, and upon all Your believing slaves s in every glance and in every breath, as many times as all the things contained in Your Knowledge.

O Allah, I seek from You [deep] faith that will saturate my heart; [true] conviction that will make me realise that naught can befall me except what You have decreed for me; and that I may find contentment in whatever You have given me. O Allah, make me of those who are sincere, believing and submitting. O Allah, enrich me with knowledge of Oneness; sincere deeds; and a goodly end. O Allah, illuminate my heart with the light of Gnosis, O Allah! O Allah! O Allah!

O Allah, grant me Your Love; the love of those who love You; the love of that which brings me proximity to Your Love; and make Your Love dearer to me than myself, my family and cold water [in scorching heat]. O Allah, do not make this world our greatest concern and do not make our affliction in our religion. O Allah, make us ascetics in this world. O Allah, show me [the reality of] this world just as You showed the pious of Your worshipful servants. Our Lord, bestow on us Mercy from Yourself, and dispose of our affairs for us in the best way!

May Allāh bless our liege and patron, Muḥammad ﷺ, whom You have sent with the Truth, as a bearer of glad tidings and a Warner, and may He bless his family and his companions, who You have purified by ridding them of all contamination. May He also grant them peace —abundant, pleasant, blessed, sufficient, plentiful, beautiful, everlasting in the eternity of Allāh’s sovereignty, and in keeping with the mighty splendour of His Essence. O Quintessence of Mercy! Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of Might, far beyond their descriptions of Him. And peace be upon the Messengers. And praise be to Allāh, Lord of (all) the Worlds. (3 times)

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Adhkar after the Friday Prayers

After completing the Friday prayer [salat al jumu’a], there are some specific adhkar recommended to be performed before leaving the mosque. For ease of access, we are listing them below:

1. For Protection

After pronouncing the Salam at the end of the Friday prayer, before unfolding one’s legs or engaging in any worldly conversation, recite the following Qur’anic chapters 7 times each:

  1. 7 x Surah al-Fatiha (Chapter 1 – The Opening)
  2. 7 x Surah al-Ikhlas (Chapter 112 – The Sincerity)
  3. 7 x Surah al-Falaq (Chapter 113 – The Daybreak)
  4. 7 x Surah al-Nass (Chapter 114 – The Mankind)

More information here.

2. For Sustenance

Following the above, recite 70 times:

اللهم يا غني يا حميد، يا مبدئ يا معيد، يا رحيم يا ودود،
اغنني بفضلك عمن سواك، وبحلالك عن حرامك

Allāhumma  Yā Ghaniyyu Yā Hamīd, Yā Mubdiʾ Yā Muʿīd, Yā Rahīm Yā Wadūd, Ighnini bi-Fadhlika ʿAmman Siwāk wa bi-halālika ʿan Harāmik

O Allah! O Self-Sufficing One! O Praiseworthy One! O Initiator! O Restorer! O Compassionate One! O Ever-Loving One! Make me independent, by Your Grace, from everyone apart from You. And (Suffice me) by Your lawful sustenance, whilst excluding that which is unlawful in Your sight.

More information here.

3. For Forgiveness

Then recite the following 100 times:

سبحان الله العظيم وبحمده

SubhānAllāhiʾl-ʿAzīm wa bi-Hamdih

Transcendent is Allah, the Supreme, and His is the Praise

More information here.

4. For a Goodly End

Then the following 5 times:

إلٰهي لَسْتُ لِلْفِرْدَوْسِ أهْلاً * وَلا أقْوٰى عَلٰى نَارِ الجَحِيمِ
فَهَبْ لي تَوبَةً، وَاغْفِرْ ذُنُوبي * فَإنَّكَ غَافِرُ الذَّنْبِ الْعَظِيْمِ

Ilāhi Lastu lil-Firdawsi Ahlan
wa Lā Aqwā ‘alā Nārʾl-Jahīm
fa-Hab Lī Tawbatan wa-ghfir Dhunūbī
fa-Innaka Ghāfir udh-Dhanbil-ʿAzīm

O Allah, I am not worthy of being an inhabitant of Firdaws
and I cannot bear the Fire of Hell.
So grant me a repentance and forgive my sins
as You are the forgiver of a major sin.

More information here.

5. For Bounteous Grace

Upon reciting the above and completing the supererogatory prayers, whilst leaving the Mosque, stand at the door and recite once:

اللهم أجبت دعوتك، وصليت فريضتك، وانتشرت كما أمرتني، فارزقني من فضلك وأنت خير الرازقين

Allāhumma Ajibtu Daʿwatik, wa Sallaytu Farīdatik, wan-tashartu kamā Amartanī, far-zuqnī min Fadhlika wa anta Khayr ur-Rāziqīn

O Allah, I have answered Your call, prayed Your obligation and have spread in the land as You have commanded me to do so. So grant me from Your bounty and You are the best of providers.

:وقد قلت وقولك الحق
يا أيها الذين آمنوا إذا نودي للصلاة من يوم الجمعة فاسعوا إلى ذكر الله وذروا البيع، ذلكم خير لكم إن كنتم تعلمون
فإذا قضيت الصلاة فانتشروا في الأرض وابتغوا من فضل الله، واذكروا الله كثيرا لعلكم تفلحون

You said and Your Speech is the Truth: “O you who believe! when the call is made for prayer on Friday, then hasten to the remembrance of Allah and leave off trading; that is better for you, if you know. And when the prayer has concluded, then disperse within the land and seek of Allah’s grace, and remember Allah much, that you may be successful” (al-Jumuʿah: 9-10).

More information here.

Success is from Allah, and He is the Guide.

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The Blessed Basmala

مُتَعَوِّذًا مُّبَسْمِلًا مُّحَمْدِلًا مُّصَلِّيًا مُّسَلِّمًا
اَللّٰهُمَّ رَبَّنَا اٰتِنَا سَعَادَةَ الدَّارَيْنِ
اَلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْڪُمْ  وَرَحْمَةُ اللّٰهِ وَبَرَڪَاتُهُ

The Blessed Basmala

Seeking a healing cure by means of Basmala, the pure

The significance and power of the Basmala Sharīfa is too immense to be elucidated in mere words. For our purpose and intent, the following will suffice:

Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ was asked about the Basmala and he replied: “A name from the names of Allāh; between it and the great Ism al-A’zam (the Supreme Name), there is nothing more than that which is between the white and black portions of the human eye.”[1]

It is related that Imām ‘Alī b. Abī Ṭālib (Allah be pleased with him) said: “Bismi Llāh is healing from every illness and protection against every disease, Ar-Rahmān is a help for everyone who believes in Him. It is a name not used for anyone else. Ar-Rahīm is for those who repent, believe and perform righteous actions.”[2]

The King of Rome, Qaiṣar, wrote to ‘Umar b. al-Khattāb and mentioned that he has a migraine which the doctors have been incapable of curing. He inquired, “Does the Amīru-l Mu’minīn (commander of the believers) have a cure for it?” He (‘Umar b. al-Khattāb) wrote (بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ) ‘In the name of Allāh, the Universally Merciful, the Singularly Compassionate’ on a piece of paper and sent it to Qaisar asking him to place it in his headgear. Qaisar put it in the headgear and whenever he wore the headgear the migraine would stop, and when the headgear fell off, the migraine would return.[3]

Sheikh Ismā’īl Haqqī Bursawī r, in his commentary of the Basmala, writes: “All knowledge that Allāh bestowed upon humanity is found in the four Books (i.e. az-Zabūr, at-Tawrāt, al-Injīl, and al-Furqān). All the knowledge in them are in the Qur’ān. All the knowledge in the Qur’ān is in the Fātiha. All the knowledge in the Fātiha is in the Basmala. And Allāh has gathered all the knowledge in the (letter) ba in bismi Llāhi-r Rahmāni-r Rahīm.”[4]

The Bismillah Majlis

With the above prelude, we present a panacea prescribed by Shaikhuna Thaika Shuaib Siddiqi using the Basmala Sharīfa. He says:

If one is afflicted with an incurable disease, or a critical illness, or is in a grave condition after an accident, a group of you should gather and recite the complete Basmala (i.e. bismi Llāhi-r Rahmāni-r Rahīm25,000 times in a single sitting, with the intention of bringing about a cure and relief, by Allāh’s leave.

Know with certainty that this is a tried and tested method. If Allāh has willed a cure, it will arrive swiftly. And if He e has willed otherwise, the afflicted person will pass on with minimal suffering. Both outcomes are from His Divine Grace and Mercy. To Him is all praise and thanks.

People who gather for such a purpose should be steadfast in performing the obligatory 5-time daily prayers. Ladies, including those having their menses, can participate in the recital so long as male-female propriety is maintained.

What follows are suggested pre- and post- Basmala Sharīfa recitals for such a “Bismillah Majlis“, followed by a comprehensive supplication [du’a] invoking Allāh for His cure and healing for the afflicted person by means of the Basmala Sharīfa and the Prophet ﷺ.

Success is from Allāh, eminent is His Glory. May Allāh bless our liege Muhammad ﷺ, his pure family and noble companions, and give them peace. Praise and thanks be to Allāh, Lord of all the Worlds.

Bismillah Majlis Recitals

Notes

[1] Musnad Ibn ʿAbbās in al-Jāmiʿ al-Kabīr, Vol. 2 p. 474.

[2] Tafsir al-Qurtubi, p. 91.

[3] Story mentioned in Khazīnat al-Asrār, p. 93.

[4] Tafsīr Rūḥ al-Bayān.

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Ziyarah

bismi Llah wa-l hamdu li-Llah,
wa-s salatu wa-s salamu ‘ala rasuli Llah,
wa ‘ala alihi wa sahbihi wa man wala, wa ba’d:

Ziyārah or Ziyarat lexically means “visitation”, and is used to refer to travel to sacred and significant sites associated with Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, the righteous, and even the general Muslims. It is a term that is increasingly shunned by Sunni Muslims and almost exclusively associated with the Shi’a Muslims.

Ziyarah to Islamic sites of historical significance does not create a massive hue and cry. But ziyarat al-qubur or “visiting the graves”—especially ziyarat al-salihin (visiting [the graves of] the righteous) and even ziyarat al-nabi ﷺ (visiting [the tomb of] the Prophet ﷺ)—has become an uncalled for bone of contention in some quarters of Sunni Muslims.

The main reason for this state of affairs is the promulgation of misguided, petro-dollar funded literature that has caused much confusion and division in Sunni Muslim communities around the world; in some cases, even leading to breaking up of families and worse, anathematising of Muslims.

One of the forgotten Sunnah is thinking well of the believers and making excuses for them. Before accusing Muslims of shirk and labelling them as “grave worshippers” or, worse, doing takfir of believers due to their outward actions, we will all do well to remember the following Prophetic narrations and saintly utterances and take heed:

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْقَاسِمِ بْنُ أَبِي ضَمْرَةَ، نَصْرُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ سُلَيْمَانَ الْحِمْصِيُّ حَدَّثَنَا أَبِي، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ أَبِي قَيْسٍ النَّصْرِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ عُمَرَ، قَالَ رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ يَطُوفُ بِالْكَعْبَةِ وَيَقُولُ ‏ “‏ مَا أَطْيَبَكِ وَأَطْيَبَ رِيحَكِ مَا أَعْظَمَكِ وَأَعْظَمَ حُرْمَتَكِ وَالَّذِي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ لَحُرْمَةُ الْمُؤْمِنِ أَعْظَمُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ حُرْمَةً مِنْكِ مَالِهِ وَدَمِهِ وَأَنْ نَظُنَّ بِهِ إِلاَّ خَيْرًا ‏”‏ ‏.‏

It was narrated that ʿAbdullah bin ʿAmr (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I saw the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) circumambulating the Ka’ba and saying: ‘How good you are and how good your fragrance; how great you are and how great your sanctity. By the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, the sanctity of the believer is greater before Allah than your sanctity, his blood and his wealth, and to think anything but good of him.’”

وَحَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ يَحْيَى التَّمِيمِيُّ، وَيَحْيَى بْنُ أَيُّوبَ، وَقُتَيْبَةُ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ، وَعَلِيُّ بْنُ حُجْرٍ، جَمِيعًا عَنْ إِسْمَاعِيلَ بْنِ جَعْفَرٍ، قَالَ يَحْيَى بْنُ يَحْيَى أَخْبَرَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ بْنُ جَعْفَرٍ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ دِينَارٍ، أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ ابْنَ عُمَرَ، يَقُولُ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ أَيُّمَا امْرِئٍ قَالَ لأَخِيهِ يَا كَافِرُ ‏.‏ فَقَدْ بَاءَ بِهَا أَحَدُهُمَا إِنْ كَانَ كَمَا قَالَ وَإِلاَّ رَجَعَتْ عَلَيْهِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

It is reported on the authority of Ibn ʿUmar (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Any person who calls his brother: ‘O unbeliever!’ (then the truth of this label) would return to one of them. If it is true, (then it is) as he asserted, (but if it is not true), then it returns to him (and thus the person who made the accusation is an Unbeliever)!

Imam al-Bayhaqi (may Allah have mercy upon him) in his “Shu’ab al-Iman” (7.522) records: “If a friend amongst your friends errs, make seventy excuses for them. If your hearts are unable to do this, then know that the shortcoming is in your own selves.”

Imam Abu Hanifa (Allah have mercy upon him) said: “If a man’s faith can be divided into 100 parts, and if 99 of them are corrupted and false, and even one is sound and whole, then we look at that sound part first, disregard the other 99 parts, and consider him as a believer.

Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Munazil (may Allah have mercy upon him), of the early Muslims, said, “The believer seeks excuses for their brethren, while the hypocrite seeks out the faults of their brethren.” [al-Sulami, ʿAdab al-Suhba]

Articles on Ziyarah al-Qubur

A small but vocal group of methodologically-challenged Muslims in Singapore are fanatically propagating minority opinions and rejected edicts [fatawa] on this subject via social media and mobile messaging apps.

To curb this worrisome trend and to address some of the issues raised by the these self-styled purveyors of Qur’an and Sunnah, we have put together 3 work-in-progress articles in the hope that it will bring some solace and clarity to proponents and opponents respectively of ziyarat al-qubur

The articles can be accessed from here:

  1. Ziyarat al-Qubur – Visiting the Graves
  2. Ziyarat al-Salihin – Visiting the Righteous
  3. Ziyarat al-Nabi  – Visiting the Prophet ﷺ

After reading the above, it is our prayer that readers will realise the following about Ziyarah:

  • It is a valid act that is firmly rooted in the Islamic tradition.
  • It is a non-obligatory fiqh matter that should not be a cause of division.
  • It should not be used to accuse Muslims of shirk or proclaim takfir of believers.

We ask Allah for tawfiq and taysir in our efforts. All good is from Him and Him alone. Mistakes are ours to rectify and answer for. May this find His acceptance and be a means to attain His pleasure and nearness.

wa salla Llahu ‘ala sayyidina Muhammadin wa ‘ala
alihi wa sahbihi wa barik wa sallam. subhana rabbika rabbi-l ‘izzati
‘amma yasifun, wa salamun ‘ala-l mursalin, wa-l hamdu li-llahi rabbi-l ‘alamin!

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Ziyarat al-Nabi ﷺ

The following is the third in a series of 3 articles on the subject of Ziyarat or “Visitation”. The previous 2 articles can be accessed from here:

  1. Ziyarat al-Qubur – Visiting the Graves
  2. Ziyarat al-Salihin – Visiting the Righteous
  3. Ziyarat al-Nabi ﷺ – Visiting the Prophet ﷺ

And success is from Allah and He is the Guide!

Contents

  •  Introduction
    • Sheikh Nur al-Din ‘Itr on visiting the Prophet ﷺ
    • Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah on visiting the Prophet ﷺ
    • Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Jaziri on visiting the Prophet ﷺ
  • Classical Scholars on Ziyarah and Madinah
    • Qadi Iyad al-Yahsubi on visiting the Prophet ﷺ
    • Ibn Qunfudh al-Qusantini on visiting the Prophet ﷺ
    • Imam Malik’s preference of Madinah over Makkah
    • The Prophet’s Grave is the Holiest site on Earth
    • al-Hafiz ibn al-Jawzi al-Hanbali
  • Propriety of Visiting the Prophet ﷺ
    • Sayyiduna-sh Shaikh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani
    • Shaykh al-Islam al-Hafiz al-Imam al-Nawawi
    • Imam al-‘Arus Sayyid Muhammad
    • Reliance of the Traveller on visiting the Prophet ﷺ
  • Addendum: Addressing the Taymiyyun
  • Conclusion

Introduction

Visiting the most respected grave of our most beloved Prophet ﷺ [ziyarat al-nabi ﷺ] is a confirmed Sunna [sunnah mu’akkada] on the part of everyone. Such a visit made soon after the observance of Hajj is a sunnah mu’akkada act of the highest order.

» Shaykh Nur al-Din ‘Itr on visiting the Prophet ﷺ

Shaykh Nur al-Din ‘Itr, a leading contemporary scholar on Qur’nic and Hadith sciences, writes:

Allah has distinguished this nation in that the resting place of its Prophet ﷺ is known with certainty, and in that there is a remedy for the hearts from [a certain type of] bewilderment, since tranquillity settles within them out of their burning desire [for him].

Muslims have consistently, from the time of the early righteous Muslim generations, visited him ﷺ and expended much effort to travel to him, because it is from amongst the most important lofty goals and beneficial devotional acts accepted by Allah Most High.

—Nur al-Din ‘Itr, Al-Hajj wa al-‘umrah fi al-fiqh al-Islami, (How to perform Hajj & Umrah according to the Four Sunni Schools of Law), translated by Amjad Mahmood, Heritage Press: Birmingham, 1434/2013, p. 114.

» Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah on visiting the Prophet ﷺ

The scholars at Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah have said about visiting the Prophet as follows:

As for visiting the grave of the Prophet ﷺ, no intelligent Muslim can be unaware of its value. How would it be if the Messenger of God ﷺ was among us now and had not passed on to his Lord, would we go to visit him ﷺ? Surely we would not hesitate to visit him ﷺ, and visiting the Prophet ﷺ after his passing is done by visiting his noble grave ﷺ.

The Muslim community has come to a consensus concerning the permissibility of visiting the Prophet ﷺ. The majority of scholars who are qualified to issue fatwas in their schools of jurisprudence have adopted the position that it is a preferred sunnah to visit the Prophet ﷺ.

Some of the realized ones [al-muhaqiqun] have said that it is an affirmed sunnah near to being mandatory, which is the fatwa according to a segment of the Hanafis, while the Maliki jurist Abu ‘Umran Musa ibn ‘Isa considered it mandatory. They based this opinion on various pieces of evidence among which is the verse from the Qur’an:

“And if, when they had wronged themselves, they had but come to you and asked forgiveness of God,
and asked forgiveness of the messenger, they would have found God Forgiving, Merciful.” [4:64]

This verse is absolute, there is no textual or rational evidence that particularises, there is nothing that relegates it to the worldly life of the Prophet ﷺ, therefore it remains effective until the end of time. Usually, the import of the Qur’an is in the generality of its phrasing, not in the particularity of the reason [for its revelation].

Similarly, there is the saying of the Prophet, “Whoever visits me after my death, it is as if they visited me during my life.” And there is also the hadith that says, “Whoever visits my grave is guaranteed [wajabat lahu] my intercession.”

Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah

 Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Jaziri on visiting the Prophet ﷺ

In his monumental al-fiqh ‘ala al-madhahib al-arba’ah, Sheikh al-Jaziri writes:

Visiting the Tomb of the Prophet

Visiting the tomb of the Chosen One ﷺ is undoubtedly one of the greatest, most sublime means of drawing near to God. After all, a spot [of ground] which once embraced the best and noblest of God’s messengers will inevitably be endowed with a special significance, indeed, a uniqueness which surpasses the ability of the written word to describe.

Moreover, it may be clearly perceived that visiting the tomb of the Chosen One will have a more profound influence on “the hearts of those endowed with insight”148 than any other act of worship. Those who stand at the tomb of the Chosen One, bringing to mind that he suffered in order to call others to God and bring people out of the darkness of polytheism and into the light of the true guidance, the virtuous morals he spread throughout the world, the ubiquitous corruption he eradication, and the law he brought—a law founded upon serving the interests of human society and protecting it from corruption—are bound to find their hearts filled with love for this Messenger who “strove hard in God’s cause with all the striving that is due to Him.”149 Not only so, but they will be stirred by such love to act on all the teachings he brought and to shy away from disobeying God and His Messenger. Indeed, such is “a triumph supreme.”150

Visiting the tomb of the Chosen One, looking upon the place where the divine revelation descended and visiting those who laboured so earnestly in defence of the religion of God Almighty—sacrificing their lives and their wealth in the way of God alone without being dissuaded by the satisfaction of power and authority and without allowing their souls to be captivated by the lust for “the passing enjoyment of life in this world, and…its embellishment”151 but rather, leaving behind their abundant wealth and their vast enjoyments in order to strive in the way of God and for God’s sake and in so doing, to uphold the religion of God—are most assuredly practices worthy of pursuing for the sake of drawing near to the Divine.

After all, such practices convey eloquent wisdom to visitors’ souls, inspiring them to emulate the deceased whose tombs they are visiting in both word and deed. If the Muslims clung truly to what those dwelling in these tombs clung to—bearing in mind that they defeated the Persians and the Byzantines at the height of their power despite the fact that the Muslims’ material strength at that time was hardly worth mentioning by comparison with that of their foes—their present condition would be other than what it is, and they would have been overpowered by no one. Hence, visiting the tomb of the Chosen One and the tombs of his companions who laboured with him is one of the most sublime, potent means of drawing near to God in its effect on the souls of those sincere labourers who worship God alone, who obey His Messenger’s commands to them, and who shun what he has forbidden. Indeed, it is they who will triumph.

Hence, if visiting the tomb of the Chosen One offered nothing but this wise admonition and this uplifting effect, this alone would be sufficient to render it one of the most majestic of the righteous acts which the true faith urges us to perform. Not only so, but if a believing Muslim is capable of performing the pilgrimage to the Sacred Mosque and of visiting the Chosen One, how can his heart be at peace if he fails to take the initiative to do so? How is it possible for a believer to be capable of coming to Mecca and being in such close proximity to Medina, the site of the divine revelation’s descent, without experiencing a heartfelt yearning to visit both the city and the Chosen One?

As for the authentic prophetic hadiths that deal with visiting the Prophet’s tomb, it may be said that whether their chains of transmission are reliable or not, the fact of the matter is that we have no need for them now that we have expounded benefits and virtues of visiting the Prophet’s tomb and its consistency with the overall principles of religion.

—’Abd al-Rahman al-Jaziri, al-fiqh ‘ala al-madhahib al-arba’ah, (Islamic Jurisprudence according to the Four Sunni Schools), translated by Nancy Roberts, Font Vitae: Loisville, 2009, p. 963-964.

Classical Scholars on Ziyarah and Madinah

The erudite Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad has compiled a selection of writings of classical scholars on the subject of visiting the Prophet ﷺ and the virtues of his resplendant city.

» Qadi Iyad al-Yahsubi on visiting the Prophet ﷺ

Qadi Iyad al-Yahsubi al-Maliki, in his book al-Shifa’, chapter entitled: Concerning the visit to the Prophet’s grave, the excellence of those who visit it and how he should be greeted, writes:

Visiting his grave is part of the Sunna and is both excellent and desirable. Ibn `Umar said that the Prophet ﷺ said, “My intercession is assured for all who visit me.”…

Malik disliked people saying: “We visited the grave of the Prophet ﷺ.” People have disagreed about the meaning of this statement. It is said that he disliked it because of the Prophet’s saying ﷺ: “Allah curses women who visit graves” [Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibban]. People related that the Prophet ﷺ then said: “I forbade you to visit graves, but now you can visit them” [Muslim].

The Prophet ﷺ said, “Anyone who visits my grave…” [man zara qabri] and used the word “visit”… Abu `Imran al-Fasi said, “Malik disliked anyone saying, “the tawaf of the visit,” or, “we visited the grave of the Prophet ﷺ,” because people normally use that for visits between themselves, and he did not like to put the Prophet ﷺ on the same level as other people. He preferred a specific statement like “We greeted the Prophet ﷺ.””

Moreover, it is merely recommended for people to visit each other whereas there is a strong obligation to visit the grave of the Prophet ﷺ. “Obligation” here means the recommendation and encouragement to do that, not the obligation which is a legal duty. I think the best interpretation is that Malik forbade and disliked the practice of connecting the word “grave” with the Prophet. He did not dislike the people saying: “We visited the Prophet ﷺ.” This is because of the Prophet’s statement ﷺ, “O Allah, do not make my grave an idol to be worshipped after me. Allah was angry with people who took the graves of their Prophets ﷺ as mosques.” So he [Malik] omitted the word “grave” in order to cut off the means and close the door to this wrong action. Allah knows best.

Ishaq ibn Ibrahim, the faqih, said that when someone goes on hajj, he should go to Madinah with the intention of praying in the mosque of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, seeking the blessing of seeing his Meadow [rawda], his pulpit [minbar], his grave, the place where he sat, the places his hands touched and the places where his feet walked and the post on which he used to lean, where Jibril descended to him with the revelation, and the places connected with the Companions and the Imams of the Muslims who lived there. He should have consideration for all these things.

Ibn Abi Fudayk said that he heard someone state, “We have heard that all who stop at the Prophet’s grave ﷺ should recite the ayat, “Allah and His angels bless the Prophet…” (33:56) and then say, “May Allah bless you, Muhammad.” If someone says this seventy times, an angel will call to him, “May Allah bless you!” and all his needs will be taken care of.”

Yazid ibn Abi Sa`id al-Mahri said that he went to `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz and when `Umar bade him farewell, he said, “I would like you to do something for me. When you reach Madinah and see the grave of the Prophet ﷺ, greet him for me with peace.” Another said, “He used to send such greetings in his letters from Syria.”…

In al-Mabsut, Malik says, “I do not think people should stand at the grave of the Prophet ﷺ, but should greet and then depart”… and “It is not necessary for the people of Madinah who enter and leave the mosque to stand at the grave. That is for strangers”… and “There is no harm in someone who comes from a journey or leaves on a journey standing at the grave of the Prophet ﷺ”…

Ibn al-Qasim said, “When the people of Madinah left or entered Madinah, I saw that they used to come to the grave and give the greeting… That is what is considered the correct thing to do.”

Al-Baji said, “There is a difference between the people of Madinah and strangers because strangers have a specific intention for doing so [visiting the grave] whereas the Madinans live there and do not intend to go there for the sake of the grave and the greeting.”

In the Chapter entitled: “The adab of entering the Mosque of the Prophet and its excellence, the excellence of the prayer in it and in the mosque of Makkah, the Prophet’s grave ﷺ and minbar, and the excellence of living in Madinah and Makkah,” the same author says: “There is no dispute that the place of his grave ﷺ is the best place on earth.”

» Ibn Qunfudh al-Qusantini on visiting the Prophet ﷺ

Ibn Qunfudh (d. 810 H) says in his book Wasilat al-islam bi al-nabi `alayhi al-salat wa al-salam [The Means to Islam With the Prophet, Peace be upon him] (Beirut: Dar al-gharb al-islami, 1404/1984) p. 144-145:

The visit to his grave ﷺ is a Sunna from among the Sunnas of prophets, and an excellent action which is highly desirable. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Whoso visits my grave, my intercession for him becomes guaranteed” and “Whoever [performs the Pilgrimage and then] visits me after my death, it is as if he visited me in my life.” His visit is a greatly profitable matter for seeking blessings by standing at his grave, and by praying in his mosque.

The order of priority is to send blessings upon him before greeting the mosque [tahiyyat al-masjid] and before approaching to greet him ﷺ. It is permissible to say: “So-and-so sends his greetings to you.” Ibn Wahb relates from Imam Malik: “When one greets the Prophet ﷺ, let him face the grave not the Qibla, and let him not touch the grave with his hand nor raise his voice. The Prophet ﷺ said: “A prayer in this mosque of mine [in Madinah] is better than a thousand prayers in any other, except the Holy Mosque [in Makkah]” (Muslim). Its meaning is that prayer in the Prophet’s mosque ﷺ is better than that in the Holy Mosque, but not by one thousand times.”

There is also in the hadith: “Between my grave and my pulpit lies a grove from the groves of Paradise” (Bukhari and Muslim) and: “Madina is a great good for them, if they but knew!” (al-Bazzar with a sound chain, Tabarani with a fair chain, and Ahmad in the Musnad) and: “Whoever is able to die in Madinah let him die there, for verily I intercede for him who dies there”. The scholars differ concerning which is better, Makkah or Madinah. Allah the Exalted said: “Lo! the first sanctuary appointed for mankind was that at Becca, a blessed place, a guidance to the peoples; wherein are plain memorials (of Allah’s guidance); the place where Abraham stood up to pray; and whosoever entereth it is safe” (3:96-97). The experts of Qur’anic commentary said that “he is safe” means safe from the fire.

» Imam Malik’s preference of Madinah over Makkah

Abu Hurayra related that the Prophet said:

“One prayer in this mosque of mine is better than a thousand prayers in any other, except the Sacred Mosque (in Mecca).” Muslim narrated it through ten chains in his Sahih.

Imam al-Nawawi in his commentary on Sahih Muslim said:

“The scholars have differed regarding the meaning of the above exception in the same way that they have differed concerning Makkah and Madinah: which of the two is better? The way of Shafi`i and the vast majority of the scholars is that Makkah is better than Madinah and that the mosque in Makkah is better than the mosque in Madinah. The opposite is true for Malik and a group of scholars.

According to Shafi`i and the vast majority, the meaning of the exception is: “except the Holy Mosque (in Makkah), for prayer in it is better than in my mosque.” According to Malik and those who agree with him, however, the meaning of the exception is: “except the Holy Mosque (in Mecca), for prayer in my mosque is better than there, but not by a thousand times.”

al-Nawawi goes on to quote the hadith of `Abd Allah Ibn al-Zubayr whereby the Prophet said:

“One prayer in this mosque of mine is better than a thousand prayers in any other except the Holy Mosque (in Mecca), and one prayer in the Holy Mosque (in Mecca) is better than one hundred prayers in my mosque.”

al-Nawawi said:

“A fair hadith (hadith hasan), narrated by Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his Musnad, Bayhaqi, and others with a fair chain, and Allah knows best.” End of al-Nawawi’s words.

Source: Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim, Khalil al-Mays ed., Beirut: Dar al-Qalam, 9/10:172.

Qadi `Iyad al-Maliki said in al-Shifa’, chapter on “the etiquette of entering the mosque of the Prophet and its excellence”:

[Regarding the hadith: “One prayer in this mosque of mine is better than a thousand prayers in any other, except the Sacred Mosque (in Makkah)”]

“The scholars have differed regarding the meaning of the above exception in the same way that they have differed concerning the greater excellence of Makkah and Madinah. Malik considers, according to the narrations of Ashhab [ibn `Abd al-`Aziz], Ibn Nafi` the companion of Malik, and a large group of others among his companions: that the meaning of the hadith whereby prayer in the Prophet’s mosque is better than that one thousand in any other mosque except the Holy Mosque (in Makkah), is that prayer in the Prophet’s mosque is better than that in the Holy Mosque (in Makkah), but not by a thousand times. They use as proof what has been related from `Umar ibn al-Khattab [“in Musnad al-Humaydi” — `Ali al-Qari] whereby prayer in the Sacred Mosque (in Makkah) is better than a hundred prayers in other mosques in any other. It follows from this that the excellence of the Prophet’s mosque (over Makkah) is nine hundred times greater, and a thousand times greater than all other mosques. This is based on the super excellence of Madinah over Makkah to which we have referred, and is the position of `Umar ibn al-Khattab, Malik, and the majority of the people of Madina.” End of Qadi `Iyad’s words.

al-Shawkani in Nayl al-Awtar says:

“The position of `Umar and some of the Companions and Malik and the majority of the people of Madinah is that Madinah is better.”

Sources: Qadi `Iyad, al-Shifa’, ed. al-Bajawi, 2:681. Shawkani, Nayl al-awtar, Dar al-kutub al-`ilmiyya, 5:28.

In his commentary on Qadi `Iyad, Mulla`Ali al-Qari al-Hanafi writes:

“There is no doubt that Makkah, among the highly venerated sanctuaries, is preferable to Madinah itself, except for the mound of the Prophet’s grave, which is mercy and tranquillity: for it is better than the Ka`ba or rather, better than the Throne itself according to a large group of the scholars.” End of Qari’s words.

Source: al-Qari, Sharh al-Shifa’, Dar al-kutub al-`ilmiyya ed., 2:162.

» The Prophet’s Grave is the Holiest site on Earth

Qadi `Iyad states in al-Shifa’, in the chapter on visiting the Prophet, the consensus of the Muslims whereby the site of the Prophet’s grave is the holiest site on earth. This particular consensus has been questioned by Ibn Taymiyya in his al-Ziyara and Shawkani in Nayl al-awtar, however, it is established that some of the major scholars of all four schools agree to this view whether or not it is a consensus, among whom are the following:

  • Hanafis: Mulla `Ali al-Qari in his Sharh al-Shifa’ already quoted.
  • Malikis: Qadi `Iyad in al-Shifa’ already quoted. He cited ijma` on this question.
  • Shafi`is: Imam al-Nawawi in his Sharh Sahih Muslim 6:101 and al-Majmu` sharh al-muhadhdhab 7:444. He reported `Iyad’s statement and did not contradict it.
  • Hanbalis: Imam Ibn `Aqil as quoted by Ibn Qayyim in Bada’i` al-fawa’id

See also: Sa`di Abu Habib, Mawsu`at al-ijma` fi al-fiqh al-islami 2:919.

» al-Hafiz ibn al-Jawzi al-Hanbali

Ibn al-Jawzi writes in Muthir Al-Gharam Al-Sakin Ila Ashraf Al-Amakin:

Chapter on Visiting the Grave of The Prophet

He who visits the grave of Allah’s Messenger should stand while visiting him with in most respectful manner possible, as if he were with him in his lifetime. Ibn `Umar narrates that Allah’s Messenger said: “He who performs pilgrimage then visits my grave after my death, is like those who visited me during my lifetime.” Ibn `Umar narrates: Allah’s Messenger said, “He who visits my grave becomes eligible for my intercession.” Anas narrates: Allah’s Messenger said: “He who visits me in Madina counting on his visit to me (muhtasiban), I will be his witness and intercessor on the day of Judgment.”

Ibn Abi Mulayka said: “Whoever wants to stand facing the Prophet, let him position himself where the Lamp which is located in the Qibla at the grave is over his head.” There is another mark that is more easily recognizable than the Lamp, it is a brass nail in the room’s wall. When someone stands besides it, the Lamp would be over his head.

Ibn Abi Fudayk said, “I heard some people who lived duthe same era, we heard that anyone who stands at the Prophet’s grave and recite this verse, Inna Allaha wa mala’ikatahu yusalluna `ala al-Nabi (Al-Ahzab 56) and then say: Salla Allahu `alaika ya Muhammad and seventy times, an angel will call out to him: “May Allah send blessings on you, O So-and-so! No need of yours will go from hence unfulfilled.”

It was related to us [with its chain of transmission] that Ka`b al-Ahbar said: “Every dawn, seventy thousand angels descend and encircle the grave, flapping their wings, and invoking blessings on the Prophet until it is evening time, whereupon they ascend, and an equal number descend and do the same. And this is so until the earth breaks open, whereupon he will come out among seventy thousand angels supporting him.

`Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz used to send his courier from Syria with the message: “Convey my greetings to Allah’s Messenger.”

Chapter on His Nation’s Greeting Reaching Him

`Abd Allah ibn Mas`ud said: Allah’s Messenger said, “Allah has angels that roam the earth bringing me the greetings of my nation.” Abu Huraira said, “No one sends me Salam except Allah has returned my soul to me so that I can return his Salam.”

[We have already mentioned the explanation of this hadith in the section on Mawlid above.]

Chapter on Some Sayings That Were Retained From the Visitors to his Grave and States They Have Experienced

Abu Nasir told us [with his chain of transmission] that `Ali said: “When Allah’s Messenger was buried, Fatima came and stood in front of his grave, took a handful of soil, put it on her eyes, cried and recited:

The one who breathes from the soil of Ahmad Will never breathe trouble all his life long
If the troubles that have been poured on me Were poured on days, they would turn into nights

Muhammed ibn Hibban said: I heard Ibrahim ibn Shayban saying: “I performed pilgrimage one year, so I came to Madina and approached the grave of the Prophet and said Salam to him. I heard from inside the room: “Wa `aleika al-Salam.”

Abu Hazim [Salama ibn Dinar] said: I heard Sa`id ibn al-Musayyib say: “During the nights of the heat wave there were no people in the Prophet’s Masjid except myself. The people of Syria would enter in groups and say: “Look at this crazy old man!” and whenever the time of prayer came, I would hear adhan coming from the Prophet’s grave. I would step forward, call iqama and pray, and there would be no one in the Masjid but me.”

Muhammad ibn Harb al-Hilali said: “I entered Madina, and came to the grave of Allah’s Messenger. An Arab came and to visit him and said: “O best of the Prophets, Allah has revealed to you a truthful book and said in it: “If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah’s forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful” (4:64), so I have come to you asking forgiveness for my sin, seeking your intercession with my Lord.” Then he began to recite poetry:

O best of those whose bones are buried in the deep earth, And from whose fragrance the depth
and the height have become sweet, May I be the ransom for a grave which thou inhabit,
And in which are found purity, bounty and munificence!

Then he left, and I dozed and saw the Prophet in my sleep. He said to me: “Run after the Arab and give him glad tidings that Allah has forgiven him through my intercession.”

Abu al-Khayr al-Aqta` said: “I entered the city of Allah’s Messenger and I was in material need. I stayed five days without eating anything. I came toward the grave and said Salam to the Prophet and to Abu Bakr and `Umar then said: “I am your guest tonight, O Allah’s Messenger!” I then stepped aside and slept behind the Minbar. I saw the Prophet in my dream, with Abu Bakr to his Right, `Umar to his left, and `Ali in front of him. `Ali shook me and said, “Get up, Rasullullah is coming.” I got up and kissed him between his eyes; he gave me a loaf of bread, I ate half of it; when I woke up I found half a loaf in my hand.”

Propriety of Visiting the Prophet ﷺ

For the righteous scholars of Islam, it is always a delight to write and speak about anything and everything related to the Prophet ﷺ. This is especially so when it comes to the propriety of visiting the Prophet ﷺ about which scholars have written very personal and subtle words. The following are some examples:

» Sayyiduna-sh Shaikh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani

Sayyiduna-sh Shaikh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani writes the following in the section on entering Madinah at the end of the section on the Pilgrimage in his book al-Ghunya li talibi tariq al-Haqq:

On visiting Medina and the tomb of the Prophet
[Allah bless him and give him peace]

If Allah (Exalted is He) blesses the pilgrim with good health (and prosperity), and he reaches Medina, what is considered preferable [mustahabb] for him is that he should make his way to the Mosque of the Prophet [masjid al-nabi] (Allah bless him and give him peace), where he should say as he enters:

allahumma salli `ala muhammadin wa `ala ali muhammad,
O Allah, bless our Master Muhammad and the family of our master Muhammad,

waftah li abwab rahmatik, wa kaffi `anni abwab `adhabik,
and open for me the doors of Your mercy, and keep me away from the doors of Your chastisement!

al-hamdu lillah rabb al-`alamin.
Praise be to Allah, Lord of All the Worlds!

Then let him come to the grave of the Prophet and stand in its proximity so that he will be between the grave and the Qibla, and let him stand so that the facade of the Qibla will be behind him and the grave in front of him exactly facing his face, and the minbar to his left… Let him then say:

Peace upon you, O Prophet, and Allah’s mercy and His blessings!

O Allah, send blessings upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad as you have sent blessings upon Ibrahim, praised and glorified are You!

O Allah, bestow upon our master Muhammad the Means (al-wasila) and the Priority (al-fadila) and the high rank (al-daraja al-rafi`a), and raise him to the exalted station (al-maqam al-mahmud) which You have promised him!

O Allah, send blessings upon the spirit of Muhammad among all spirits, and upon his body upon all bodies, just as he has conveyed Your Message and recited Your signs and fought according to Your command and striven in Your path and commanded that You be obeyed and forbade that You be disobeyed and opposed those who opposed You and befriended those who befriended You and served You until death came to him.

O Allah, You said to Your Prophet in Your Book: “If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah’s forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful” (4:64), and I have come to Your House [sic; two other manuscripts have: “and I have come to You”] in repentence from my sins and seeking forgiveness, therefore I ask You that you make forgiveness guaranteed for me as you have made it guaranteed for those who came to him in his lifetime acknowledging their sins, so that their Prophet invoked You on their behalf and You forgave them.

O Allah! I am turning to You with Your Prophet, upon him Your peace, the Prophet of mercy. O Messenger of Allah! I am turning with you to my Lord so that He will forgive me my sins. O Allah, I am asking You for his sake (bi haqqihi) that You forgive me and grant me mercy.

O Allah, grant to Muhammad that he be the first of the intercessors, the most successful of those who ask, and the most honourable of the first and the last. O Allah, just as we believed in him without seeing him; and just as we confirmed him without meeting him: enter us where he entered and raise us in his group and bring us to his pond and quench us with his cup of a satisfying, pure, fresh, whole drink after which we shall never thirst , and keep us forever away from disappointment, betrayal, deviation, negation, and doubt, and make us not of those You are angered against, nor of the misguided, but place us among the people of his intercession.

Then let him step to his left and say:

Peace be upon both of you, O Companions of Allah’s Messenger, and Allah’s mercy and His blessings. Peace be upon you, O Abu Bakr the Most-Truthful. Peace be upon you, O `Umar the Distinguisher. O Allah, reward them with abundant good on behalf of their Prophet and all Islam, and forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in the faith, and do not place in our hearts rancor towards the believers, O Allah! for You are most kind, merciful.

Then let him pray two rak`at and sit. It is desirable that he pray between the grave and the pulpit in the Rawda; and, if he so desires, that he rub the pulpit to take its blessing (wa in ahabba an yatamassah bi al-minbar tabarrukan bih); and that he pray in the mosque of Quba'; and that he go visit the graves of the martyrs and make abundant invocations there.

Then, if he wants to leave Madina, let him come to the Prophet’s mosque, approach the grave, greet the Prophet, and do exactly as he did before, then bid him farewell and similarly greet his two Companions and bid them farewell. Then let him say:

O Allah, don’t make this the last of my visit to the grave of Your Prophet, and if you cause me to die, then make me die loving him and his Sunna. Amin, O most merciful of the merciful!

Then he may leave in peace, by Allah’s will.

—’Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, al-Ghunya li-talibi tariq al-Haqq, (Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of Truth), translated by Muhtar Holland, Al-Baz Publishing, Inc: Houston, Texas, 1995, p. 48-52.

 » Shaykh al-Islam al-Hafiz al-Imam al-Nawawi

In his al-Idah fi Manasik al-Hajj, he writes:

Chapter 6: On Visiting the Grave of our Master, the Messenger of Allah, Peace be upon him.

In this chapter are discussed the recommended and discouraged actions of those who perform Hajj.

The first of the issues concerns those who make Hajj and `Umra. When they leave Mecca, they should go towards the city of Allah’s Messenger to visit his turba or burial ground. It is one of the most important of those actions that bring one towards Allah, and a most important effort. Al-Bazzar and al-Daraqutni narrated on the authority of Ibn Umar that Allah’s Messenger said “Whoever visits my grave, my intercession becomes guaranteed for him.”

The second point concerns preferred or recommended actions for the visitor to have intention to do when visiting Allah’s Messenger. His intention should be to draw closer to Allah by travelling to his mosque and praying in it.

Third, it is also recommended that when the visitor is in transit he should increase his recitation of greetings and blessings on the Prophet, and that when he sees the trees of Medina, its blessed sanctuary, or any landmark in Medina, he should increase his recitations of greetings and blessings; he should ask that Allah accept his visit and grant him benefit for visiting.

Fourth, it is recommended that the pilgrim perform the greater ablution [ghusl] before entering Madina and put on his cleanest clothes. He should visualise in his heart the honour of Madina, the best place in the world after Mecca according to some scholars; others consider Madina to be the best place in the world without exception. What makes it so honourable is the presence of Allah’s Prophet, the best of all creation.

Fifth, the pilgrim should attune himself to the feeling of the greatness of Allah’s Messenger; his heart should be full of his presence, as if he is seeing him.

Sixth: when he arrives at the door of his mosque, let him say the things he says when entering Mecca; he should enter with his right foot and leave with his left, as he should when entering and leaving any Masjid. As he approaches the holy Rawda, which is the place between the Prophet’s grave and his pulpit, he prays tahiyyat al-Masjid (the prayer of greeting the Masjid) near the Minbar, in the standing place of Allah’s Messenger.

In the book of Madina the distance between the Minbar and the Maqam or standing place, where he used to pray until his death, is fourteen arm-lengths and one hand span, and the distance between the Minbar and the grave is fifty-three arm lengths and a span, and Allah knows best.

Seventh, after he prays the Tahiyya in the Rawda (or anywhere else in the Masjid), in thankfulness to Allah for this bounty, and asking Him for the completion of his mission and for the acceptance of his visit, he should face the wall of the holy grave, with the Qibla behind him, looking to the lower part of the grave’s wall, lowering his gaze in a state of awe and reverence, emptying his heart of worldly concerns and focusing on the reverent nature of his situation and the status of the one in whose presence he is. Then he gives greetings in a voice neither too loud nor too soft, but with moderation; he says the following:

  • al-Salamu `alayka ya Rasul Allah
    Peace be upon you O Messenger of Allah
  • al-Salamu `alayka ya Nabi Allah
    Peace be upon you O Prophet of Allah
  • al-Salamu `alayka ya Khiyarat Allah
    Peace be upon you O Elect of Allah
  • al-Salamu `alayka ya Khayr Allah
    Peace be upon you O Goodness of Allah
  • al-Salamu `alayka ya Habib Allah
    Peace be upon you O Beloved of Allah
  • al-Salamu `alayka ya Nadhir
    Peace be upon you O Warner
  • al-Salamu `alayka ya Bashir
    Peace be upon you O Bearer of Glad Tidings
  • al-Salamu `alayka ya Tuhr
    Peace be upon you O Purity
  • al-Salamu `alayka ya Tahir
    Peace be upon you O Pure One
  • al-Salamu `alayka ya Nabi al-Rahma
    Peace be upon you O Prophet of Mercy
  • al-Salamu `alayka ya Nabi al-Umma
    Peace be upon you O Prophet of the Community
  • al-Salamu `alayka ya Abu Qasim
    Peace be upon you O Father of Qasim
  • al-Salamu `alayka ya Rasul Rabb al-`Alamin
    Peace be upon you O Messenger of the Lord of the Worlds
  • al-Salamu `alayka ya sayyid al-mursalin wa ya khatam al- nabiyyin
    Peace be upon you O Master of Messengers and Seal of Prophets
  • al-Salamu `alayka ya Khayr al-Khala’iqi ajma`in
    Peace be upon you O Best of All Creatures
  • al-Salamu `alayka ya Qa’id al-Ghurri al-Muhajjalin
    Peace be upon you O Leader of the Bright-faced ones
  • al-Salamu `alayka wa `ala Alika wa Ahli baytika wa Azwajika wa Dhurriyyatika wa Ashabika ajma`in
    Peace be upon you and upon your Family, the People of your House, your Wives, your Children, and all your Companions
  • al-Salamu `alayka wa `ala Sa’ir al-Anbiya’i wa Jami`i `Ibad Allah al-Salihin
    Peace be upon you and upon all the Prophets and Allah’s righteous Servants
  • Jazak Allahu Ya Rasulallahi `anna Afdala jaza Nabiyyan wa Rasulan `an Ummatihi
    May Allah reward you, O Messenger of Allah, with the best reward a Prophet or a Messenger ever received on behalf of his Community
  • Wa Sallallahu `alayka wa Sallama kulla ma dhakaraka dhakirun wa ghafala `an dhikrika ghafilun
    Blessings and Peace of Allah upon you every time one remembers you and every time one fails to remember you
  • Afdala wa Akmala wa Atyaba ma Salla wa Sallama `ala Ahadin min al-Khalqi ajma`in
    With the best, most perfect, and choicest of blessings and peace ever bestowed upon anyone in creation
  • Ashhadu an La Ilaha Illallahu wahdahu la sharika lah
    I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah alone, without partner
  • Wa ashhadu annaka `Abduhu wa Rasuluhu wa Khiyaratuhu min khalqihi
    And I bear witness that you are His servant, His Messenger, His Elect among all creatures
  • Wa ashhadu annaka qad ballaghta al-Risala wa addayta al-Amana wa nasahta al-Umma wa jahadta fillahi haqqa jihadih
    And I bear witness that you have conveyed the Message and fulfilled the trust and counseled the Community and striven for Allah with the most truthful striving
  • Allahumma atihi al-wasilata wa al-fadilata wa ib`athhu maqaman mahmudan al-ladhi wa`adtah
    O Allah! Grant him the Means and the Excellent Gift and Raise him to the Exalted Station You have promised him
  • Wa atihi nihayata ma yanbaghi an yas’aluhu al-sa’ilun
    And grant him the goal of what those who beseech You must beseech for him
  • Allahumma salli `ala Sayyidina Muhammadin `abdika wa rasulika al-Nabiyyi al-Ummi wa `ala Ali Sayyidina Muhammadin wa Azwajihi wa dhurriyyatih
    O Allah! Send blessings on our Master Muhammad Your servant and Messenger, the Unlettered Prophet, and upon the Family of our Master Muhammad, his Wives and his Children
  • Kama sallayta `ala Sayyidina Ibrahima wa `ala Ali Sayyidina Ibrahima
    As you have sent blessings on our Master Ibrahim and on the Family of our Master Ibrahim
  • Wa barik `ala Sayyidina Muhammadin al-nabiyyi al-ummi wa `ala Ali Sayyidina Muhammadin wa Azwajihi wa dhurriyyatih
    And send benedictions on our Master Muhammad Your servant and Messenger, the Unlettered Prophet, and upon the Family of our Master Muhammad, his Wives and his Children
  • Kama barakta `ala Sayyidina Ibrahima wa `ala Ali Sayyidina Ibrahima fi al-`alamina innaka Hamidun Majid
    As you have sent benedictions on our Master Ibrahim and on the Family of our Master Ibrahim in the worlds, for You are truly the most praiseworthy and noble.

As for him who cannot memorize all of this or who does not have the time to recite it, it is enough to recite a part of it, as a minimum the words al-Salamu `alayka ya Rasul Allah

Then, if someone has asked him to convey Salams to Allah’s Messenger, let him say al-Salamu `alayka ya Rasul Allah min Fulan ibn Fulan (Greetings to you, O Messenger of Allah, from So-and-so, the son of So-and-so), or some such greeting, after which he steps an arm’s length to the right and sends Salams to Abu Bakr because he stands at the shoulder of Allah’s Messenger; then he says

  • al-Salamu `alayka ya Aba Bakrin safiyya rasulillahi wa thaniyahu fi al-ghari, jazakallahu `an ummat al-nabiyyi khayran,
    (Greetings to you, O Abu Bakr, the Intimate Friend of Allah’s Messenger and his second in the Cave! May Allah grant you the best reward on behalf of the Prophet’s Community).

Then he steps an arm’s length to the left of his original position, to the space before Umar, saying:

  • al-Salamu `alayka ya `umara a`azz allahu bika al-islam, jazak allahu `an ummati muhammadin khayran
    (Greetings to you O `Umar, Allah has strengthened Islam through you, may Allah reward you well on behalf of the nation of Muhammad).

Then he returns to his original position, directly in front of Allah’s Messenger, and he uses the prophet as his means in his innermost (fa yatawassalu bihi fi haqqi nafsihi), and seeks his intercession before his exalted and mighty Lord (wa yatashaffa`u bihi ila rabbihi subhanahu wa ta`ala), and one of the best things that he can say is what has been narrated by our colleagues on al-`Utbi’s authority, and they admired what he said:

As I was sitting by the grave of the Prophet, a Bedouin Arab came and said: “Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah! I have heard Allah saying: “If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah’s forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful” (4:64), so I have come to you asking forgiveness for my sin, seeking your intercession with my Lord.” Then he began to recite poetry:

O best of those whose bones are buried in the deep earth,
And from whose fragrance the depth
and the height have become sweet,
May I be the ransom for a grave which thou inhabit,
And in which are found purity, bounty and munificence!

Then he left, and I dozed and saw the Prophet in my sleep. He said to me: “O `Utbi, run after the Beduin and give him glad tidings that Allah has forgiven him.”

The pilgrim should next advance to the head of the grave and stand between the grave and the pillar that is there, facing the Qibla [without turning his back on the grave]. Let him praise and glorify Allah and supplicate for himself regarding what concerns him and what he loves, for his parents, and for whomever he likes among his relatives, revered teachers, brothers, and Muslims in general; then he comes to the Rawda and increases his supplication and prayer. It established in the two Sahihs in a narration from Abu Hurayra that the Prophet said: “Between my grave and my Minbar lies one of the Gardens of Paradise, and my Minbar overlooks my Pool (hawd). Let him stand by the Minbar to make supplication.

Eighth: It is impermissible (la yajuz) to circumambulate the grave of the Prophet, and it is reprehensible (makruh) to stand so close to the grave that one’s entire front or back is in direct contact with it. This is according to the opinion of al-Halimi and others. Also reprehensible is rubbing the grave with one’s hand or kissing it. The good etiquette is to stay a distance from it, as one would from a living person. This is what the `ulama have said, and we should not be misled by such actions of common people that are in violation of these good manners; we should only follow the prescriptions of the scholars, without paying attention to the behaviour of the common people.

The respected master, Abu `Ali al-Fudayl ibn `Iyad spoke to the effect that one must follow the paths of guidance and not be distracted that so few travel them, and to beware the paths of misguidance that are well-travelled by those who will perish. Therefore, he who thinks that rubbing and such bring more baraka is misled by his ignorance and heedlessness, because baraka is in what is in accordance with the Shari`a and the sayings of the scholars; how then can benefit be obtained through opposition to what is right?

Ninth: Throughout his stay in Madina he must perform all of his prayers in the Prophet’s Masjid, and must form the intention of making i`tikaf (retreat) in it.

Tenth: It is desirable that he go daily to the cemetery of Baqi`, especially on Friday; he should first say Salams to the Prophet. When he arrives at Baqi`, he says: al-Salamu `alaykum Dara Qawmin mu’minina wa inna insha Allahu bikum lahiqun, Allahumma ighfir li ahli Baqi` al-gharqad, Allahumma ighfir lana wa lahum. Then he visits the visible graves there, such as that of Ibrahim, `Uthman, al-`Abbas, al-Hasan the son of `Ali, `Ali the son of Al-Hussein, Muhammad ibn `Ali, Ja`far ibn Muhammad, and others. The last stop would be the grave of Safiyya, the Aunt of Allah’s Messenger; it has been established in numerous sound hadiths that there is merit in the graves of the Baqi` and in visiting them.

Eleventh: It is recommended to visit the graves of the martyrs of Uhud, the best day being Thursday, and to begin with Hamza, starting early in the morning after the dawn prayer in the mosque of the Prophet, so as to allow time to return to the Masjid before the Noon prayer.

Twelfth: It is definitely recommended to come to the Masjid of Quba’, preferably on a Saturday, with the intention of drawing closer to Allah by visiting it and praying in it, due the authentic hadith in the book of Tirmidhi and others from Usayb ibn Hudhayr, that a prayer in the Masjid of Quba’ is like `umra, and in the two Sahihs from Ibn `Umar, he said that Allah’s Messenger used to come to Masjid Quba’ both riding and walking to pray in it two rak`a, and in an authentic narration he used to come to it every Saturday. It is recommended to visit the well of Aris, which is located by the mosque of Quba’, and drink from its water and perform ablution with it.

Thirteenth: It is desirable that one visit all the sites of significance in Islam. There are approximately thirty such places, and they are known to the inhabitants of Madina. The pilgrim should visit as many as he can. He should also come to and drink from the wells where Allah’s Messenger used to perform ablution and wash. There are seven such wells.

Fourteenth: The pilgrim must maintain reverence toward this city throughout his stay there, keeping in his heart that it is the place chosen as the place of Allah’s Messenger’s emigration and residence, and the place where he was buried; he must visualize the Prophet’s coning and going in the city and his walking in its streets.

Fifteenth: Taking up residence in Madina [especially for study] is desirable on the same condition that were previously mentioned with reference to Mecca. The desirability of this practice has been established in Sahih Muslim: Ibn `Umar and Abu Hurayra related that the Prophet said: “He who perseveres through the difficulties and hardships of Madina, I will be a witness or an intercessor for him on the day of judgement.”

Sixteenth: It is recommended that he fast in Medina whenever it is possible and as much as possible, and to give Sadaqa as much as possible to the Prophet’s jiran (people performing Mujawara), because it is a way of being faithful to the Prophet.

Seventeenth: He is not to carry with him any of the pottery made from the soil and stones of the Haram of Medina, nor the pitchers nor others of the utensils made from it, as has been stated with regard to the Haram of Mecca.

Eighteenth: Hunting at the Haram of Medina is forbidden, and it is also forbidden to remove from the trees of the Haram; these rules have been discussed in reference to the Haram of Mecca. The boundary of the Haram of Medina is what has been narrated by Bukhari and Muslim in their two authentic books from `Ali ibn Abi Talib from the Prophet: “The Haram of Madina is between `Ayr and Thawr [a hill behind Uhud]”; and in the two authentic books from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah who said: “If I see the deer grazing or drinking in Madina I would never interfere with them.” The Prophet also said, “What is between her two tracts of black stones [i.e. city limits],” and so it has been narrated by a group of Companions in the Sahih.

Nineteenth: If he wants to travel from Madina and go back to his country or another country, it is desirable to say farewell to the Masjid by performing two rak`a and making supplication for any matter about which he is concerned; he has to come to the grave and say something similar to the supplications mentioned at the beginning and says, “Oh Allah, do not make this the last time that I come to the Haram of Your Messenger; make easy my return to the two Sacred Sanctuaries, and bestow upon me forgiveness and security in this life and in the hereafter, and grant us safe return with your bounty.” He leaves facing away from the tomb.

Twentieth: Important matters regarding the Prophet’s mosque: It has been narrated in Sahih Bukhari from Ibn `Umar that he said that in the time of Allah’s Messenger the masjid was built with sun-dried clay bricks; its roof was made of palm branches, the pillars were of palm wood. Abu Bakr did not add to it anything; `Umar added to it and built it the way that it used to be during the time of the Prophet with bricks and palm branches and palm-wood pillars. `Uthman, in turn, changed it, adding considerably to it, and he built up its walls with engraved stone and freestone, put up pillars of engraved stone, and a roof of teak [Indian oak]. It is incumbent to keep Salat in the Masjid that used to exist during the time of Allah’s Messenger. For the previously mentioned sound hadith: “A prayer in this, my Masjid, is better than a thousand prayers in any other Masjid” applies only to what was in place in his own time. If one prays in congregation, stepping forward to the first row, and those rows immediately behind it, is best. Let him pay attention to what I have warned about. In the two Sahih books on the authority of Abu Hurayra the Prophet said: “My Minbar overlooks my Pool.” Al-Khattabi said that the meaning of this hadith is that he who keeps the prayers at my Minbar shall be given water from the Prophet’s Pool on the Day of Judgment. The other hadith in the Sahih has already been mentioned: “Between my grave and the Minbar, lies one of the Gardens of Paradise.”

Twenty-first: Some of the common people claimed that Allah’s Messenger said: “Whoever visits me and my father Ibrahim in the same year, I guarantee Paradise for him,” and this is false; it is not from Allah’s Messenger and it is not mentioned in any books of hadith. Rather, it is a fabrication of some corrupt individuals. The visit of the Friend of the Merciful is not disapproved. What is rejected is only what the common people have narrated and there is no relation between the visit of the Khalil and Hajj; the visit of the Khalil is a separate act of devotion. Likewise, the saying of some of the common people whereby if they perform the Hajj and complement it by visiting Jerusalem, they are thereby completing the Pilgrimage: this is false. While visiting Jerusalem is desirable, it is not related to Hajj. And Allah knows best.

Twenty-second: If one swears an oath to visit the Prophet’s Mosque or Jerusalem, there are two points of view for al-Shafi`i; the more correct one is that it is desirable that he go, but not obligatory.

» Imam al-‘Arus Sayyid Muhammad

Our Grand-Shaykh, Imam al-Arus Sayyid Muhammad, has written:

While on the way to Madinah, and while in the resting places along the route, make unceasing recital of salawat, and, when the trees and other landmarks of Madinah appear, further increase the recital of salawat. Perform a bath before entering the sacred precincts of Madinah and put on clean and good clothing.

Let reverential fear completely fill your hearts when you enter the respected mosque, and enter it as if you are about to have a vision with your physical eyes of that great personage who is your master ﷺ. It is recommended [sunnah] to give charity [sadaqa] before visiting the grave of the Prophet ﷺ.

Stand below the minbar of the Rawdha and offer the tahiyyat al-Masjid prayer, and offer  words of gratitude for the great blessing Allah has granted you of being present there in person, and pray that your wishes be fulfilled and that your prayers be accepted.

After you have done this, stand directly against the sacred face of the most noble master ﷺ, and bending your head low in all humility, and with a feeling of great awe and fear, pronounce salam thus on the noblest of all beings:

as-salâmu ‘alayka yâ rasûla Llâh
Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah.

as-salâmu ‘alayka yâ nabiyya Llâh
Peace be upon you, O Prophet of Allah. 

as-salâmu ‘alayka yâ habîba Lâh
Peace be upon you, O Beloved of Allah.

as-salâmu ‘alayka yâ rahmatan li-l ‘âlamîn
Peace be upon you, O Mercy to the Worlds.

After pronouncing salam in this manner, move a bit to the right and pronounce salam on our liege Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (radiya Llâhu anhu). Then move a bit further to the right and pronounce salam on our liege ‘Umar al-Faruq (radiya Llâu anhu).

Having done this, move back to the graveside of our beloved Prophet ﷺ and pray to Allah to grant through the favour of the Prophet ﷺ his intercession [shafa’a] on your behalf, on behalf of the members of your family, and on behalf of all Muslims generally. Include in your prayer all that you have in your mind to ask Him.

Circumambulating the grave of the Prophet ﷺ is prohibited [haram]. Touching his grave and kissing the grave are permitted when the intention is to obtain his blessings, but bringing your face in contact with the grave is disliked [makruh].

—Sayyid Muhammad ibn Ahmad Lebbai, Fathu-d dayyan fi fiqhi khairi-l adyan, (Opening towards Understanding the best of Religions), translated by Saifuddin J. Aniff-Doray, A.S.Noordeen, Kuala Lumpur, 1419/1999, p. 375-376.

» Reliance of the Traveller on visiting the Prophet ﷺ

In the Shafi’i fiqh manual, Reliance of the Traveller [umdat al-salik], the author Shihabuddin Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri states:

j13.0: Visiting the Tomb of the Prophet (Allah Bless Him and Give Him Peace)

j13.1—It is recommended when one has finished the hajj to visit the tomb of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) (n: in Medina). (O: One should enter his mosque with the right foot first, as in any mosque, and say the well-known supplication: “It the name of Allah, praise be to Allah. O Allah, bless our liegelord Muhammad, his folk and his Companions, and give them peace. O Allah, open unto me the gates of Your mercy.”)

j13.2: How To Visit the Prophet’s Tomb

It is recommended to pray two rak’as to greet his mosque, and then approach the noble and honored tomb and stand at the head of it with one’s back to the direction of prayer (qibla). One bows one’s head and summons to mind reverent awe and humility, then greets the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and blesses him in a normal voice (O: saying: “Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah. Peace be upon you, O Prophet of Allah. Peace be upon you, O Chosen One of Allah. Peace be upon you, O Best of Allah’s Creation. Peace be upon you, O Beloved of Allah”), after which one supplicates Allah for whatever one wishes. The one steps half a meter to the right to greet Abu Bakr, and again to the right to greet’ Umar (Allah be well pleased with them). Then it is recommended to return to one’s original place and do much of supplicating Allah, turning to Allah through the Prophet (tawassul, def: w40) (O: concerning one’s aims and goals, since he is the greatest intermediary, in intercession and other things), and invoking blessings upon him (Allah bless him and give him peace), after which one supplicates beside the pulpit (minbar) and in the Rawda (N: which is the space designated by the white pillars between the chamber containing the noble tomb and the pulpit).

j13.3—It is unlawful to circumambulate the tomb.

It is offensive to nudge the wall around the tomb with one’s back or front, to kiss it, or touch it (O: with one’s hand. Proper conduct here is to stand back from it as one would if present during his life (Allah bless him and give him peace). This is what is right, and what scholars have said and are agreed upon. One should not be deceived by what some common people do in their ignorance of proper manners, for it is reprehensible innovation (bid’a, def: w29.3) ).

One of the most disgraceful innovations is the eating of dates in the Rawda.

j13.4—It is recommended to visit al-Baqi’ (O: the cementery of Medina. It is desirable to go to it every day, for buried their are the wives of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), some of his children, his father’s brother ‘Abbas, ur liegelord ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan the successor of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), a number of his Companions (Sahaba), and Imam Malik, founder of the Maliki school of jurisprudence, the bliss and benefaction of Allah be upon them all).

j13.5—When one desires to travel, one bids farewell to the mosque by praying two rak’as, and to the noble tomb with a visit and supplication. And Allah knows best.

Addendum: Addressing the Taymiyyun

From the plagues of the modern era is the active dissemination of isolated and rejected opinions of past scholars, thanks to petro-dollar funded publishing initiatives of the methodologically challenged.

Chief amongst the ugly opinions that have been fervently spread far and wide is Ibn Taymiyya’s view that travelling to visit the blessed grave of the Prophet ﷺ is a reprehensible innovation—a view which he based on the rejection of the aforementioned narrations.

As pilgrims to the two blessed sanctuaries [haramain sharifain] and the general Muslim populace are continually bombarded by the Taymiyyun (a term describing blind, obstinate and rabid followers of Ibn Taymiyya) with literature that propagate this vile opinion, we quote here the words of luminous savants of Islam who completely reject and totally obliterate Ibn Taymiyya’s opinion in this matter.

Shaykh al-Islam ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani (d. 852 AH) on ibn Taymiyya’s prohibiting of travelling to visit the Prophet’s grave ﷺ:

“Al-Kirmani (D. 786AH) has said: On this issue there has been much discussion in our Syrian lands, and many treatises have been written by both parties. I say: He is referring to Shaykh Taqi al-Din al-Subki and others’ responses to Shaykh Taqi al-Din ibn Taymiyya… and the crux of the matter is that they have pointed out that his position implies that it is prohibited to travel to visit the tomb of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)… This is one of the ugliest positions that has been reported of ibn Taymiyya. One of the things he has adduced to deny the claim that there is a consensus on the matter is the report that (Imam) Malik disliked people saying: I have visited the tomb of the Prophet. The discerning scholars of the (Maliki) school have replied that he disliked the phrase out of politeness, and not the visiting itself, for it is one of the best actions and the noblest of pious deeds with which one draws near to Allah the Majestic, and it’s legitimacy is a matter of consensus without any doubt, and Allah is the One who leads to truth.”

[ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Fath al-Bari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari (Cairo: Mustafa al-Babi al-Halabi, 1959), 3:308]

Shaykh al-Islam ibn Hajar al-Haytami (d. 974 AH) on ibn Taymiyya’s view of impermissibility of travelling to visit the grave of the Prophet ﷺ:

“If you say: How can you relate that there is a consensus on the permissible and commendable status of visiting and travelling to it (the Prophet’s grave ﷺ) when ibn Taymiyya among the later Hanbalis deems all of this inappropriate?

I say: Who is ibn Taymiyya so that one takes his words into consideration or relies on them in any religious matter? Is he anything but – in the words of the leading scholars who have followed his rotten statements and unsalable arguments… – a servant whom Allah has forsaken and led astray and clothed in the garments of ignominy… The Shaykh al-Islam, the scholar of the world, concerning whose status, ijtihad, rectitude and prominence there is a consensus, Taqi al-Din al-Subki – may Allah sanctify his soul and cast light on his grave – has dedicated himself to answering him in a separate work (shifa al-saqam fi ziyarat khayr al-anam) in which he has done a great service and shown with dazzling arguments the correct path.”

[ibn Hajar al-Haytami, al-Jawhar al-Munazzam fi Ziyarat al-Qabr al-Sharif al-Nabawi al-Mukarram, M. Zaynhum ed. (Cairo: Maktabat Madbuli, 2000), 29-30.]

Imam Ahmad al-Qastallani (d. 923AH) expressing his outrage on ibn Taymiyya’s prohibition of travelling to visit the Prophet’s grave ﷺ:

“The Shaykh Taqi al-Din ibn Taymiyya has abominable and odd statements on this issue to the effect that travelling to visit the Prophet ﷺ is prohibited and is not a pious deed but the contrary. Shaykh Taqi al-Din al-Subki has replied to him in Shifa al-Saqam and has gratified the hearts of the believers.”

[Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Baqi al-Zurqani, Sharh al-Mawahib al-Laduniyya (Cairo 1291AH), 8:343]

Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari al-Harawi al-Hanafi (d. 1014 AH) on ibn Taymiyya’s prohibition of travelling to visit the Prophet’s grave ﷺ:

“Amongst the Hanbalis, ibn Taymiyya has gone to an extreme by prohibiting travelling to visit the Prophet ﷺ, just as others have gone to the opposite extreme in saying: the fact that the visiting is a pious deed is known with certainty and he who denies this is an unbeliever. Perhaps the second position is closer to the truth, for to prohibit something that scholars by consensus deem commendable is unbelief, since it is worse than prohibiting what is (merely) permissible, in regards to which there is agreement (i.e. there is agreement that the prohibition of what is permissible by consensus is unbelief).”

[Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari al-Harawi, Sharh al-Shifa (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, 2001), 2:152]

Imam Ahmad al-Khafaji (d. 1069 AH) on ibn Taymiyya’s prohibition of travelling to visit the Prophet’s grave ﷺ:

“Know that this is the hadith that led ibn Taymiyya and those who follow him, such as ibn al-Qayyim, to the despicable statement due to which he was declared an unbeliever, and against which al-Subki devoted a separate work, and this is his prohibiting the visit to the tomb of the Prophet ﷺ and travelling to it… He imagined that he protected monotheism [tawhid] on the basis of drivel that should not be mentioned, for they do not come from a rational, let alone an eminent, person, may Allah the Exalted forgive him.”

[Ahmad al-Khafaji, Nasim al-Riyad, 5:100-101]

Imam Mustafa ibn Ahmad al-Shatti (d. 1348 AH) on ibn Taymiyya’s 2 contentious views:

The position that Shaikh Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah held in forbidding people to set out on journeys to visit shrines altogether is neither from the madhhab of Imam Ahmad nor is it even an authentic narration within the school… This Shaikh, even with all of his knowledge of the sciences and his preeminence in logic and understanding of the texts, is NOT to be followed in the two issues of (a) visitation of graves and (b) three divorces in one sitting. This is according to the researchers and verifiers from his own students who answered him, as he disliked the use of the word “visitation”, but did not oppose visitation in an of itself as a principle.

—Imam Mustafa b. Ahmad al-Shatti, an-Nuqul ash-shar’iyyah, (The Divine Texts), translated by Abu Ja’far al-Hanbali, Spire Publishing: Canada, 2007, p. 70.

These suffice for those pure of heart. Success is from Allah and He is the Guide.

Conclusion

We end with this ardent request penned by our Grand-Shaykh, Imam al-Arus Sayyid Muhammad, at the end of the chapter on Visiting the Graves of the Prophet ﷺ and his family and his companions:

O my brethren!

Those of you who have read this kitab and who have the good fortune any day any time to visit the honoured grave of our beloved Prophet ﷺ, do me the favour of conveying a hundred thousand times a hundred thousand, placing the lotus of his holy feet upon my eyes and upon my head, the salams I express on him and on his family and on all his companions.

I beseech you humbly also to offer a prayer on my behalf, on behalf of my father, my mother, my children, and all those dear to me, asking Allah to grant us His pardon for our sins, His Mercy, and a beautiful end (to our lives), and to grant us the favour of visiting our Prophet ﷺ while we are still in this world, and also to grant us his intercession in the world to come.

And Allah and His Messenger know best!

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