The Hadith: “Whoever visits my grave my intercession is guaranteed for him”

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by Dr. G. F. Haddad

[Excerpted from
Appendix, Repudiation of the Innovators of Najd]

The hadith “Whoever visits my grave, my
intercession will be guaranteed for him” (Man zâra
qabrî wajabat lahu shafâ‘atî)
[1] is a fair (hasan) narration as concluded by Imam
Abu al-Hasanat al-Lacknawi[2] and his
student ‘Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda in the latter’s notes
on Imam Malik’s Muwatta’ according to Muhammad
ibn al-Hasan’s narration (chapter 49: On the Prophet’s
– Allah bless and greet him – grave) as well as Shaykh
Mahmud Mamduh,[3]
although some early scholars had declared it sound (sahîh)
such as Ibn al-Sakan in al-Sunan al-Sihah and ‘Abd
al-Haqq al-Ishbili in al-Ahkam, followed by Shaykh
al-Islam
al-Taqi al-Subki in Shifa’ al-Siqam in
view of the totality of the chains.[4] Other hadith scholars who considered it authentic are
Ibn Hajar’s student the hadith master al-Sakhawi,[5] the hadith master of Madina al-Samhudi,[6] and Shaykh al-Islam al-Haytami in al-Jawhar
al-Munazzam
. Al-Ghassani (d. 682) did not include it in his
compendium of al-Daraqutni’s weak narrations entitled Takhrij
al-Ahadith al-Di‘af min Sunan al-Daraqutni
.[7] Some late scholars, beginning with Ibn
Taymiyya, remain

Al-Lacknawi said about this hadith:

There are some who declared it weak [e.g. al-Bayhaqi, Ibn
Khuzayma, and al-Suyuti], and others who asserted that all the
hadiths on visitation of the Prophet – Allah bless and greet
him – are forged, such as Ibn Taymiyya and his fol­lowers,
but both positions are false for those who were given right
understanding, for verification of the case dictates that the
hadith is hasan, as Taqi al-Din al-Subki has expounded in
his book Shifa’ al-Siqam fi Ziyara Khayr al-Anam.”
[8] >

           
Among those who fall into the category of “Ibn Taymiyya and
his followers” on this issue:

Ibn ‘Abd al-Hadi who wrote al-Sarim al-Munki fi
al-Radd ‘ala al-Subki
in violent refutation of
al-Subki’s book on visitation but contradicted his own
position in another book of his.>[9] Shaykh
Mah­mud Mamduh refuted his weakening of this hadith in great
detail[10] and
stated that al-Sarim al-Munki is at the root of all
subsequent generalizations in weakening the hadiths that concern
the desirability of visitation.[11]

the late Wahhabi shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Bin Baz
who reiter­ated Ibn Taymiyya’s imprudent verdict: “The
hadiths that concern the visita­tion of the grave of the Prophet
– Allah bless and greet him – are all weak, indeed
forged”;[12]

Nasir al-Albani,>[13] who claimed that the visit to the Prophet – Allah
bless and greet him – ranks among the innovations;[14]

and Nasir al-Jadya‘, who in 1993 obtained his Ph.D.
with First Honors from the University of Muhammad ibn Sa‘ud
after writing a 600-page book entitled al-Tabarruk in
which he perpetuates the same aberrant claim.[15]

           
Al-Sakhawi:

The emphasis and
encouragement on visiting his noble grave is mentioned in
numerous hadiths, and it would suffice to show this if there was
only the hadith whereby the truthful and God-confirmed Prophet
promises that his intercession among other things becomes
guaranteed for whoever visits him, and the Imams are in complete
agreement from the time directly after his passing until our own
time that this [i.e. visiting him] is among the best acts
of drawing near to Allah.[16]

           
There is no contest among the jurists of the Four Schools as to
the probative force of the narration of Ibn ‘Umar, as it is
adduced time and again by the jurists to support the strong
desirability of visiting the Prophet – Allah bless and greet
him – in Madina. See, for example, among Hanbali sources
alone:

         Ibn
Qudama’s al-Mughni (3:297)

         Ibn
Muflih’s al-Mubdi‘ fi Sharh al-Muqni‘
(3:259)

        
Al-Buhuti’s Kashshaf al-Qanna‘ (2:515; 5:36)

         Ibn
Dawyan’s Manar al-Sabil (1:256).

See also the
additional sound texts illustrating the visit to the Prophet
– Allah bless and greet him –, among them that of the
Companion Bilal ibn Rabah al-Habashi – Allah be well-pleased
with him – all the way from Shâm, as well as the
Companions’ practice of seeking the Prophet – Allah
bless and greet him – as a means for their needs by visiting
his grave, such as Bilal ibn al-Harith al-Muzani, Abu Ayyub
al-Ansari, and ‘A’isha – Allah be well-pleased
with them – all as cited in the sections on Tawassul
and Visitation in Shaykh Hisham Kabbani’s Encyclopedia of
Islamic Doctrine
. And Allah knows best



* A forthcoming publication of As-Sunna
Foundation of America, soon to be available through International
Shopping Network
.


NOTES

[1]Narrated from Ibn
‘Umar by al-Daraqutni in his Sunan (2:278 #194), Abu
Dawud al-Tayalisi in his Musnad (2:12), al-Dulabi in al-Kuna
wa al-Asma’
(2:64), al-Khatib in Talkhis
al-Mutashabih fi al-Rasm
(1:581), Ibn al-Dubaythi in al-Dhayl
‘ala al-Tarikh
(2:170), Ibn Abi al-Dunya in Kitab
al-Qubur
, al-Bayhaqi in Shu‘ab al-Iman (3:490),
al-Hakim al-Tirmidhi in Nawadir al-Usul (p. 148),
al-Haythami (4:2), al-Subki in Shifa’ al-Siqam (p.
12-14), Abu al-Shaykh, Ibn ‘Adi in al-Kamil (6:235,
6:351), al-‘Uqayli in al-Du‘afa’ (4:170),
al-Bazzar in his Musnad with a very weak chain containing
‘Abd Allah ibn Ibrahim al-Ghifari [cf. Ibn Hajar’s Mukhtasar
(1:481 #822)] with the wording “my intercession shall take
place for him” (hallat lahu shafâ‘atî), and
Ibn Hajar who indi­cated its grade of hasan in Talkhis
al-Habir
(2:266) as it is strengthened by other hadiths which
both he and al-Haythami mention, such as:

        
“Whoever visits me without any avowed purpose other than my
visit, it is in­cumbent upon me to be his intercessor on the Day
of Resurrection.” Nar­rated by al-Tabarani in al-Awsat
and al-Kabir with a chain containing Mas­lama ibn Salim
and by Ibn al-Sakan in his Sunan al-Sihah as stated by
al-Shirbini in Mughni al-Muhtaj (1:512).

        
“Whoever makes pilgrimage then visits me after my death it
is as if he visited me in my life.” Narrated by al-Tabarani
in al-Kabir (12:406) and al-Daraqutni (2:278) with a chain
contai­ning Hafs ibn Abi Dawud al-Qari, whom only Ahmad declared
passable (sâlih). Mamduh said (p. 337-340) it is more da‘îf
than other weak hadiths in this chapter.

        
“Whoever visits my grave after my death is as those who
visited me in my life.” Narrated by al-Tabarani in al-Kabir
(12:406) and al-Awsat (1:94) with a chain containing
‘A’isha bint Yunus, whose status is uncertain, and from
Hatib by al-Daraqutni (2:278) with another chain which al-Dhahabi
said was one of the best chains in that chapter. Mamduh said (p.
330-334) it is da‘îf but not mawdû‘,
contrary to the claims of Ibn Taymiyya and his imitators. Abu
Ghudda cites a fourth narration:

        
“Whoever makes pilgrimage and does not visit me, has been
rude to me.” Narrated by al-Daraqutni in his Sunan.
Abu Ghudda said: “It is not forged as Ibn al-Jawzi and Ibn
Taymiyya said, rather, a number of scholars considered its chain
fair, and a number considered it weak.” Mamduh (p. 344-346)
con­siders it forged.

Al-‘Uqayli
in al-Du‘afa’ (4:170) declared the chains of Ibn
‘Umar’s narration “soft” (layyina) as
did al-Dhahabi, the latter adding – as did al-Bayhaqi and
al-Fattani in Tadhkirat al-Mawdu‘at – that they
strengthened each other as none contains any liar nor forger, as
stated by al-Suyuti in al-Durar al-Muntathira, al-Munawi
in Fayd al-Qadir, and al-‘Ajluni in Kashf al-Khafa
(2:328-329).

[2]In Zafar al-Amani
(p. 422) and al-Ajwiba al-Fadila (p. 155).

[3]In his Raf‘
al-Minara
(p. 280 and p. 318).

[4]As related by Ibn Hajar
in Talkhis al-Habir (2:267). Cf. al-Shawkani in Nayl
al-Awtar
(5:95) and al-Sindi in his notes on Ibn Majah.

[5]In al-Qawl
al-Badi‘
(p. 160).

[6]In Sa‘adat
al-Darayn
(1:77).

[7]Published at Ryad: Dar
‘Alam al-Kutub, 1991.

[8]Al-Lacknawi, Zafar
al-Amani
(p. 422).

[9]Ibn ‘Abd al-Hadi
makes much ado about the reliability of ‘Abd Allah ibn
‘Umar al-‘Umari in al-Sarim al-Munki, but relies
upon him in another book, al-Tanqih (1:122) as pointed out
by Mamduh in Raf‘ al-Minara (p. 12).

[10]In Raf‘
al-Minara
(p. 280-318).

[11]In Raf‘
al-Minara
(p. 9).

[12]In his annotations on
Ibn Hajar’s Fath al-Bari (1989 ed. 3:387), echo­ing
the exact words used by Ibn Taymiyya in his Minhaj al-Sunna
al-Nabawiyya
(1986 ed. 2:441) and Majmu‘at al-Fatawa
(27:119).

[13]In his Irwa’
al-Ghalil
(4:337-338) in which he imitated Ibn ‘Abd
al-Hadi’s claims.

[14]In Talkhis Ahkam
al-Jana&#39iz
(p. 110) and elsewhere in his writings.

[15]Nasir al-Jadya’,
al-Tabarruk (p. 322). Note that all these books are
presently available in print, but not Shifa’ al-Siqam!

[16]Al-Sakhawi, al-Qawl
al-Badi‘
(p. 160). He contradicts himself in al-Maqasid
al-Hasana
(p. 413) where he adopts al-Dhahabi’s opinion
that “the chains of the hadith of visitation are all
‘soft’ (layyina) but strengthen each other
because none of them contains any liar.”

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