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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]


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.


[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'iz (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.”

::  Dr. Gabriel F. Haddad  ::

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