FAITH

Friday Sermon: Prince Salman Can’t Stop Makkah, Madinah From Being The Most Sacred Places In Islam, By Imam Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! When a person contemplates the state of people who are trapped in forbidden lusts and those who pursue the satisfaction of their instincts and desires, you will find that they share a common factor, which is evident in their every movement and moment of repose, and which is reflected in their facial features: a weak connection with Allah.

How can a heart which is connected to Allah, a heart that knows Him and has tasted the pleasure of being close to Him, find pleasure or comfort in hating, attacking and insulting Makkah and Madinah, the sacred places loved by Allah and His Messenger, because of some activities of the crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Muhammed Bin Salman Al Saud? Thus, everyone who has fallen into one of the sins related to following desires, or returned to it after repentance and abandoning it, has been dragged to this state due to the weakness of his faith. Weak faith facilitates the way to his soul which is a persistent enjoiner of evil, as well as to the accursed Shaytan, and thus he was trapped in the swamps of worshiping his desire after being firm for a long time in the gardens of faith.

Sincere faith in Allah is the shield against falling into prohibitions, second only, of course, to the guidance of Allah.

Thus, when faith inhabits the heart, dominates the feelings, and flows to the organs to lead them to the pleasure of Allah, the person will not dare to think of committing an act of disobedience. The eye will not dare to look at what is prohibited, nor will any part of the body dare to disobey the commands of Allah. Building faith in the heart is not easy; however, the one who insists on knocking on the door will be let in eventually.

Respected Servants of Allah! This is a modest attempt to help you on your way to strong faith, which destroys the desire that may have humiliated you and caused you to suffer one calamity after another. Please my dear friend, I advise you, don’t be among those who have evil intentions about Makkah and Madinah. They are the places loved by Allah the Almighty and His Messenger (Peace be upon him).

My people! If you can remember, the crown prince Muhammed Bin Salman Al Saud (MBS) has called for more entertainment options in the kingdom for both families and youth. His cabinet passed regulation to reduce the power of the religious police and religious leaders, and an entertainment authority was established in May 2016.

In his attempt to override Islamic tradition, he engaged younger Saudi Muslim scholars who are active on social media and better known among Saudi youth, as opposed to the kingdom’s council of senior scholars who set official religious policy and often release religious opinions.

In December 2017, he lifted a 35-year ban on cinemas and allow films to be screened as early as next year.

The Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information approved licences for those wishing to open cinemas in the kingdom.

Awwad bin Saleh al-Awwad, the Saudi culture minister, confirmed the report in a statement as reported.

Saudi Arabia placed a complete ban on cinemas in the early 1980s. Now the first cinemas are expected to open in March 2018.

The decision to reopen comes amid a series of reforms introduced by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud as part of the so-called government’s Vision 2030 plan to revitalise and diversify Saudi Arabia’s oil-dependent economy.

Dear Servants of Allah! Shaikh Muhammad Salih Ibn Uthaimin (rahimahullah) said:

“There is not in the world a land that is sacred except these two Sacred Sites: The Haram of Makkah, and the Haram of Madinah. As for what is said by some: “Haram of Al-Aqsa” and “Ibrahim’s Haram”, then this is not correct and has no evidence to support it.”
[See Ash-Sharh al-Mumti, vol. 7 page 215]

From the places of virtue that Allah has extolled and mentioned their excellence to the exclusion of others is the city of Makkah: the place of safety and security, the place where revelation to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) began, and from where he was appointed as the Messenger to mankind. It is the city which Allah swears by in the Qur’an:

“I swear by this city, Makkah – And you, [O Muhammad], are free of restriction in this city.” [Surah Al-Balad: 1-2]

Imam Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) said:

“This is an oath of Allah (the Most High) by Makkah “Umm al-Qura” (the mother of all towns), due to the fact that living in it puts one in a state that indicates the greatness of the city itself wherein the people are in a state of Ihram, living in a sanctity. Allah sated:

“And by this city of security (Makkah).” [Surah At-Tin: 3]

* Narrations That Show The Excellence Of Makkah And Its Sacredness:

1. Within Makkah is the Ancient House (Al-Bayt Al-Atiq) for the worship of Allah alone. It was the first place of monotheistic worship built for mankind. Allah sated:

“Verily, the first House of worship appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), full of blessing, and a guidance for all of creation.”
[Surah Ali Imran: 96]

Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim report in the two Sahih collections from Abu Zar (RA) that he said:

“I asked the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) regarding the first Masjid that was made in the world?” So he said: “The Masjid al-Haram.” I asked: “Then which one after that?” He said: “Masjid al-Aqsa.” I asked: “What was the time period between them?” He replied: “Forty years.”

Imam Ibnul-Qayyim (rahimahullah) said:

“This hadith is difficult to comprehend for those who do not know its intent, a person may say: “It is known that Prophet Sulaiman Ibn Dawud (AS) was the one who built Masjid al-Aqsa and there was between him and Ibrahim over a thousand year gap.” So this shows the ignorance of such a person. That is because Sulaiman (AS) merely rebuilt and renovated the Masjid al-Aqsa – he did not establish it or build it in the first place. Rather the one who originally built it was Ya’qub Ibn Is-haq (AS), and that was after Ibrahim (AS) built the Ka’abah at Makkah.” [See Zad al-Ma’ad, vol. 1 page 50]

2. Allah made it a Haram (a sanctity) wherein it is not permitted to shed blood; not permitted to cut a tree; not permitted to chase or scare game animals; not permitted to cut shrubs; it is not permitted to pick up a lost item not belonging to you except with the intent of announcing that one has found it, seeking its owner.

Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim reported in the two Sahihs from the Hadith of Abu Shuraih (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Allah made Makkah a sanctity and it was not the people who did that. So it is not permitted for a person who believes in Allah and the Last Day to spill blood therein [i.e. kill another person] or to cut down a tree. If anybody argues that fighting is allowed in Makkah as Allah’s Messenger did fight in Makkah. Tell them that Allah gave permission to His Messenger, but He did not give it to you. Allah allowed it for me only for a few hours on that one day [of the conquest] – and today its sanctity is the same as it was before. So let the one who is present convey that to the one who is absent.”

3. That which is narrated concerning the virtue of praying in the Masjid al-Haram.

Imam Ahmad reported with an authentic chain of narration in his Musnad from the Hadith of Jabir (RA) that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“The prayer in this Masjid of mine [in Madinah] is more excellent than a 1000 prayers in any other place except for the Masjid al-Haram [in Makkah], for the prayer in the Masjid al-Haram is 100,000 times more excellent.”

The people of knowledge have looked into whether this manifold increase in virtue applies to the whole of the sacred area (al-Haram) or only the Masjid al-Haram surrounding the Ka’abah.

The first issue is: The Hadith previously mentioned stated: “The prayer in the Masjid al-Haram is 100,000 times more excellent.” The texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah which mention “Al-Masjid Al-Haram” intend by its usage the whole of the Haram area. For example the saying of Allah the Most High:

“This is for him whose family is not present at Al-Masjid al-Haram (i.e. non-resident of Makkah)..” [Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:196]

And His saying:

“Glorified and Exalted be He above all that they associate with Him, Who took His slave (Muhammad) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid al-Haram (at Makkah) to the farthest Mosque (in Jerusalem).” [Surah Al-Isra: 1]

On that night he was taken from the house of the Companion Umm Hani (RA), yet Allah still referred to it as “Al-Masjid Al-Haram”, i.e. that the term refers to the sacred area and not only to the Mosque. There are also proofs from the Sunnah: When the Messenger (Peace be upon him) was at Al-Hudaibiyah (a place between Makkah and Madinah), and it was time to pray, he entered the Haram (Sacred) area and prayed. [Reported by Ahmad in al-Musnad, with a good chain of narration].

The second issue is that there are narrations from the Salaf (Pious predecessors) that show that the reward of all of the deeds is multiplied in the area of the Haram, acting in that regard upon the saying of Allah the Most High:

“And whoever inclines to evil actions therein (in the Haram area) or to do wrong, him We shall cause to taste a painful torment.” [Surah Al-Hajj: 25]

The tremendous nature of the sacredness of the Haram and the strong forbiddance of committing evil indicates likewise its immense virtue for the one doing righteous actions. And the affair has a detailed study connected to it.

4. Allah has informed us that Makkah is Umm al-Qura as occurs in His saying:

“And thus We have inspired unto you (O Muhammad) a Quran in Arabic that you may warn the Mother of the Towns (Makkah) and all those around it.” [Surah Ash-Shura: 7]

So in Islam, all the towns, villages, cities and countries follow on from it and are branches of it.

5. It is the Qiblah (direction of prayer) for all the people of the earth, and there is no Qiblah in the world besides it. Allah said:

“And from wherever you go out [for prayer], turn your face toward al-Masjid al-Haram.” [Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:150]

Bukhari and Muslim reported in the two Sahihs from the Hadith of Usamah Ibn Zaid and Ibn Abbas (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) exited his house and offered two raka’ahs in prayer facing the Ka’abah, and then said: “This is the Qiblah.”

6. There is safety for the one who enters the Haram. Allah said:

“…whosoever enters it, he attains security. [Surah Ali Imran: 97]

So this is either informing us of the reality of the affair alongside the impossibility of there being any contradiction in the sayings of Allah. Or it is information regarding the legislation (Shari’ah) of Allah and His Religion concerning its sacredness. Or it is informing us of an affair and a covenant that is continuous concerning its sacredness in the times of pre-Islamic ignorance (Jahiliyyah) through to Islam, just as Allah has said:

“Have they not seen that We have made (Makkah) a sanctuary secure, and that men are being snatched away from all around them? Then do they believe in falsehood, and deny (become ingrate for) the Graces of Allah?” [Surah Al-Ankabut, 67]

“And they say: “If we follow the guidance with you, we would be snatched away from our land.” Have We not established for them a secure sanctuary (Makkah), to which are brought fruits of all kinds…” [Surah Al-Qasas: 57] [See Zad al-Ma’ad, vol. 3 page 445]

7. That it is forbidden to face it and turn one’s back to it whilst relieving oneself.

Bukhari and Muslim report from the Hadith of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“When you defecate, do not face the Qiblah, and do not turn your back to it – neither when defecating nor when urinating. Rather turn to the East or the West.”

8. Allah chose it for the Rites of Hajj, and he made travelling to it an act of worship – for which a person is raised in rank and his sins are wiped away, as there occurs in Bukhari and Muslim from the Hadith of Abu Hurairah (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever performs Hajj for Allah alone and keeps away from sexual acts and from sin, he return home like it was the day that his mother gave birth to him.”

9. Makkah is the best place on earth and the most beloved to Allah and His Messenger (Peace be upon him).

At-Tirmidhi authentically reports in his Sunan from Abdullah Ibn Adiy (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said whilst addressing Makkah:

“By Allah! You are best of the lands of Allah, and the best land of Allah to Allah! And were it not for the fact that I was expelled from you, I would never have left you.”

Tirmidhi also reports from Ibn Abbas (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said to the land of Makkah:

“There is no finer place than you, no place more beloved to me! And were it not for the fact that your people expelled me from you, I would not have lived elsewhere.”

11. It is the place from where Allah took His Prophet into the Heavens on the night of the Journey. Allah the Most High said:

“Glorified and Exalted be He above all that they associate with Him who took His slave for a journey by night from Al-Masjid al-Haram (at Makkah) to the farthest Mosque (in Jerusalem), the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him of Our signs. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” [Surah Al-Isra: 1]

12. It is not permitted to embark upon a religious journey except to three Mosques, the Masjid al-Haram being one of them.

Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim report from Abu Hurairah (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Do not embark upon a [religious] journey except to three Mosques: Al-Masjid Al-Haram (Makkah), the Mosque of the Messenger (in Madinah) and the Masjid al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem).”

13. Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, connected the Sacred House in Makkah to Himself specifically:

“…and purify My House for those who perform Tawaf…” [Surah Al-Hajj: 27]

This connection is particular and specific due to the sacredness that Allah has endowed the Ka’abah with, and the honour He has given to Makkah, and His love for it. This singularly is sufficient honour for this city and the Grand Mosque.

14. Allah has attached the hearts of people to His Sacred House, the Grand Mosque. He made it a place of constant returning for them:

“And [mention] when We made the House a place of return for the people and [a place of] security…” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 125]

It is such that the heart keeps desiring to return to it over and over. And as the centuries have gone by, the numbers desiring to visit it has only increased. And the more one visits it, the more one is pulled by his soul to visit it again.

Look at how the people spend their halal wealth, leave behind their businesses, their homes and families because their hearts are drawn to this blessed place. They care not what it costs, because the visitation of the House of Allah for Hajj and Umrah only wipes away poverty and sins just as the furnace purifies gold, silver and iron from its impurities.

May Allah the Most Generous, the Compassionate continue to give us the opportunity to love, respect and visit the Masjid al-Haram for the purpose of worshipping Him alone and earning His reward. Ameen.

* The Virtues Of Madinah

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Indeed the Madinah of Allah’s Messenger is the most pleasant of places, it is Taybah, it is the returning place and sanctuary of Iman, it is the home of the Muhajirun and the Ansar, it is the place where the trustworthy Angel Jibril descended upon the Prophet (Peace be upon him) with the Revelation (Wahy).

Allah has honoured the blessed city of Madinah, He has given it excellence over all of the cities after Makkah. There are many narrations that mention its excellence, its virtues, its sanctity and its status – and how the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) would supplicate for it and inform his Companions regarding it.

* From Its Virtues:

1. Allah, the Most High, made it a sacred sanctuary.

Imam Muslim reports in his Sahih from Abu Sa’id al-Khudri that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“O Allah! Indeed Ibrahim designated Makkah sacred and made it a sanctuary. I declare Madinah sacred – the area between its two mountains is a sanctuary. No blood is to be shed therein, and no weapon is to be carried therein for the purpose of fighting – and the leaves are not to be shaken from their trees, except for fodder.”

The sanctity of Madinah runs between the two lava plains from east to west, and between Mount Ayr (to the south) to Mount Thawr (to the north).

Imam Muslim reports in his Sahih from Ali Ibn Abi Talib (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Madinah is sacred and a sanctuary between Ayr and Thawr, so whoever introduces an innovation or gives refuge to an innovator, then upon him is the curse of Allah, the Angels and the whole of mankind.”

And from Abu Hurayrah (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whatever is between its two lava plains is a sanctuary.”

The lava plains refers to the place where there are black rocks in the east and west of the city.

2. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) named the city as Taibah and Tabah.

Imam Muslim reports from Fatimah Bint Qays (RA) in the Hadith of Al-Jassasah wherein the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“This is Taibah, this is Taibah, meaning al-Madinah.”

And in the narration of Al-Bukhari:

“This is Tabah.”

Imam Ibn Hajr stated that it is said by the scholars that it (i.e. Taibah and Tabah) means that its soil is fine, and its air is good – indeed there emanates from its soil and walls a pleasant fragrance that is not found elsewhere. [See Fathul-Bari, vol. 4 page 89]

3. Iman (Faith) will return and gather back into Madinah.

Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim report from Abu Hurairah that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Surely Iman will return to Madinah just as a snake returns back to its hole.”

4. The one who bears some of the harsh and difficult conditions of Madinah, then such a person is promised a tremendous reward.

Imam Muslim reports from Abu Sa’id, the freed slave of Al-Mahri, that he experienced distress and hardship in Madinah as well as high prices. So he came to Abu Sa’id al-Khudri and he said to him: “I have many dependants and we are feeling the hardships, so I wish to move my family to a rural farming area.” Abu Sa’id said: Woe to you! I advise you not to do that. I heard Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) say:

“No one bears its hardships with patience and then dies except that I will be an intercessor for him (or a witness) on the Day of Resurrection so long as he was a Muslim.”

Also in Sahih Muslim from Abu Hurairah (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“A time will come when a man will call to his paternal cousin and his relatives saying: ‘Come to a life of ease! Come to a life of ease!’ But Madinah is better for them, if only they but knew! By the One in whose Hand is my soul, no one departs from Madinah out of dislike for it except that Allah will replace him with one who is better than him.”

The scholars such as Imam Ibn Hajr (rahimahullah) explained that living in Madinah is better for them because the Messenger made it a sacred sanctuary, and it is the place of Revelation, a place where blessings descend – so if only they knew what it means to settle in Madinah due to its religious benefits that are underestimated by people in exchange for immediate hidden good fortune that is found by living in other cities.

5. Al-Bukhari and Muslim report that Abu Hurairah (RA) said that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) stated:

“I have been commanded to go to a town which supersedes all other towns. They say: ‘It is [called] Yathrib’ but it is Madinah. It purifies the people just as the bellows eliminate the impurities of iron.”

The scholars such as Imam Al-Baghawi in Sharhus-Sunnah have stated that it supersedes [or consumes] means that Allah will aid Islam by way of the people of Madinah and that the townships are conquered by them and the bounties are brought back and consumed by them.

6. From the virtues of Madinah is the supplication of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) for it to be blessed.

Imam Muslim reports from Abu Sa’id al-Khudri that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“O Allah, bless us in our Madinah. O Allah, bless us in our Sa’i (a measure of four cupped handfuls). O Allah, bless us in our Mudd (a measure of single cupped handful). And to each blessing add two more. By the One in whose Hand is my soul, there is no mountain pass nor road around Madinah but there are two Angels standing guard over it until you return back to it.”

7. Neither plague nor the Dajjal will enter Madinah.

Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim report from Abu Hurairah (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“On the roads into Madinah there are Angels so that neither plague nor the Dajjal can enter it.”

8. In Madinah there is the Prophet’s Masjid – it is from those Mosques to which one is permitted to travel for religious purpose.

Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim report from Abu Hurairah that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“No journey should be undertaken to visit any Masjid except three: The Masjid Al-Haram [in Makkah], this Masjid of mine, and Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa.”

Prayer in the Prophet’s Mosque receives a manifold increase in reward.

Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim report from Abu Hurairah (RA) that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“The prayer in this Masjid of mine is better than a thousand prayers in any other Masjid except for the Masjid Al-Haram [in Makkah].”

9. In Madinah there is Masjid Qubah and praying in it equates to an Umrah!

Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah) narrated in his Musnad from Sahl Ibn Hanif that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever leaves out until he reaches this Masjid, meaning Masjid Qubah, and he prayers inside it, then it is like performing an Umrah.”

10. In the Prophet’s Masjid there is the honourable Garden (Ar-Rawdah).

Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim report from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whatever is between my house and my pulpit is a garden from the Gardens of Paradise, and my pulpit is over my lake.”

Imam Ibn Hajr stated that this is yet another encouragement to live in Madinah – and his (Peace be upon him) saying: “A garden from the Gardens of Paradise” means that there descends upon it mercy, and happiness, and if one was to pray there it is as if he has prayed in a Garden of Paradise. Or it could mean that it is a real garden that will be transferred in the Hereafter into Paradise.

11. In Madinah there is the Mountain of Uhud.

Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim report from Abu Humaid (RA) that he said: We returned with the Prophet (Peace be upon him) from the Battle of Tabuk until we reached Madinah, and the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“This is Tabah and this is Uhud – It is a mountain that loves us, and we love it.”

12. There is in Madinah the Valley of Al-Aqiq.

Imam Bukhari reports from Umar Ibn al-Khattab (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Tonight there came to me a messenger Angel from my Lord. He said: ‘Pray in this blessed valley, and say: Umratan fi Hajjatin (i.e. the talbiyah for Umrah and Hajj).’”

13. From Madinah we get the blessed Ajwah date.

Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim report from Sa’id that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever eats seven Ajwah dates in the morning, then he will not be harmed by poison or magic on that day.”

14. Madinah purifies itself from filth.

Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim report from Jabir Ibn Abdillah that a Bedouin pledged allegiance to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) then the Bedouin suffered a severe fever in Madinah. He came to the Prophet and said: “O Muhammad cancel my oath of allegiance.” But the Prophet refused. He went away, came back and repeated his request and the Prophet refused again. He did that three or four times. After that the Bedouin himself left Madinah on his own accord. So the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Madinah is like bellows, it eliminates its filth and impurities and it purifies what is good.”

15. Whoever wishes harm and evil upon the people of Madinah, Allah will destroys him.

Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim report from Sa’ad Ibn Abi Waqqas (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever intends to do harm [or wishes ill] to the people of Madinah, Allah will cause him to melt like salt dissolving in water.”

And in a narration of Imam Muslim:

“…except that Allah will melt him in the Fire like lead, or like salt dissolving in water.”

And in a narration reported by Imam Ahmad in the Musnad:

“Whoever scares the people of Madinah oppressively, then Allah scares him – upon him is the curse of Allah, the Angels and all of humankind – and on the Day of Resurrection, Allah will not accept from him any payment nor compensation.”

16. Our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) lived there and died there as did many of his wives and Companions. Buried next to him in the residence of Aishah (RA) are his two closest and trusted Companions, the two Caliphs, Abu Bakr and Umar (RA). It is NOT legislated for anyone to embark upon a journey to only visit the graves of Prophets nor the righteous – this is proven by the Hadith already stated above:

“No journey should be undertaken to visit any Masjid except three: The Masjid Al-Haram [in Makkah], this Masjid of mine, and Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa.”

And visiting the Prophet’s Mosque is not from the obligations of Hajj or Umrah. However, if one is in Madinah, then it is legislated to attend the funerals and to visit the graveyards so that one is reminded of death and may supplicate for the deceased. In this regard, one may also visit the grave of the Prophet and his two Companions to give them salutations, just as Ibn Umar (RA) would do:

“Assalamu alaika Ya Rasulallah. Assalamu alaika Ya Aba Bakr. Assalamu alaika Ya Abati (O my father).”

Then he would leave.

So a visitor today would say:

“Assalamu alaika Ya Rasulallah. Assalamu alaika Ya Aba Bakr. Assalamu alaika Ya Umar.”

And leave without lingering.

[See Manasik al-Hajj wal-Umrah of Shaykh Ibn Uthaimin]

Again Shaykh Ibn Uthaimin (rahimahullah) said:

“It is not allowed to stand for a long time in front of the grave of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) making Du’a (supplication) or at the graves of his two Companions. Imam Malik (rahimahullah) used to hate for that to done saying: ‘It is a bid’ah that was not practiced by the Salaf – and the latter part of this Ummah will not be rectified except by that which rectified its first part.’” [See Manasik al-Hajj wal-Umrah of Ibn Uthaimin, page 144]

Imam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) said:

“Imam Malik would hate for the the people of Madinah that every time anyone entered the Prophet’s Mosque that he would go to the grave of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), because the Salaf would not do that. Rather they would come to the Masjid and they would pray in it behind Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali (RA) – and each would utter in his prayer (in the Tashahhud): Assalamu alaika ayyuhan-Nabiyy wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu,’ (i.e. peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the Mercy of Allah and His Blessings). Then once the prayer had finished, they would stand or leave – and they would not head to the grave of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to give him salutations of Salam. This was due to their knowledge that the salutations, peace, the mention and prayers upon him in their Daily Prayer [in the tashahhud] was better and more excellent.” [See Manasik al-Hajj wal-Umrah of Ibn Uthaimin, page 144]

And if that is the case with the Salam and Salutations, then how much greater in travesty and calamity is the case of the one who stands by the grave of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) holding conversations with him, seeking his assistance and his succour!Seeking help, rescue, cure and other such matters from the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) is major polytheism (shirk) that exits one from the fold of Islam. Wal iyazu billah!

It is also not permitted to go to any grave and supplicate to Allah for one’s own needs thinking that being in the presence of a grave is a nearness to Allah [even if it be the grave of the Prophet (Peace be upon him)] making it more likely for his supplication being accepted.
As for the oft-quoted fables and “Hadith” such as:

1. “Whoever performs Hajj and does not visit me, then verily he has shunned me.” Then this Hadith is weak at best, though in reality it is fabricated and a lie. In it there are narrators who are very weak, and others unknown as stated by Ad-Daruqutni, Al-Bazzar and Al-Bayhaqi. [See Fatawa tata’alaq bi-Ahkamil-Hajj wal-Umrah waz-Ziyarah min Ijabah of Shaykh Ibn Baz (rahimahullah), page 147-149]

2. “Whoever visits me after my death, it is as if he has visited me during my lifetime.” [Collected by Ad-Daruqutni, Abu Ya’ala in his Musnad, and Ibn Adiy in Al-Kamil] There is in the chain of narration weak and unknown narrators. So the narration cannot be attributed to the Prophet (Peace be upon him). [See Fatawa tata’alaq bi-Ahkamil-Hajj wal-Umrah waz-Ziyarah min Ijabah of Shaykh Ibn Baz (rahimahullah), page 147-149]

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) himself forbade rituals and ceremonies at his grave saying in an authentic Hadith:

“Do not take my grave as a place of rituals or festivities, neither turn your homes into graves. And send upon me your Salutations of Salam, for it will be carried to me from wherever you may be.” [Reported by Muhammad Ibn Abdul-Wahid al-Maqdisi in Al-Mukhtarah]

As for the Hadith:

“Whoever prays forty prayers [in the Prophet’s Mosque] then freedom from Hellfire will be written for him and freedom from hypocrisy.”

Shaykh Ibn Baz (rahimahullah) said:

“This narration is weak as far the scholars of Hadith verification have stated, and thus it cannot be used as a proof or relied upon.”

Respected Brothers and Sisters! I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah. I pray He lets us recognise the truth for what it is and helps us to follow it, and that He lets us see falsehood for what it is and helps us to avoid it.

O Allah! Guide us and protect us from the causes of ignorance and destruction! Save us from the defects of ourselves! Cause the last of our deeds to be the best and most righteous! And forgive all of us.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Anything good I have said in my today’s Sermon is from Allah the Almighty, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds in anything I said or I do.

May Allah be praised; and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger Muhammad and upon his family and Companions.

With this I conclude my Sermon and ask Allah, the Almighty and the Sublime, to forgive all of our sins. So seek his forgiveness, He is all forgiving and Most Merciful.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Sha’aban 3, 1439 AH (April 20, 2018), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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