Thursday, 30 April 2015

The Sharing Group Discussion on Faith Fatigue

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following was posted on The Sharing Group, on the 06th May, 2014, by myself: “I would like to know so that we can all learn and understand, how many of us have ever come to the stage where we almost gave up on Islam.  Could you share what brought you there?  And if applicable, what brought you back?  And if you ever met someone in a similar situation, what would you say to them?”

Brother Roy Nahar: I did.  I gave up on Islam is because every single time I asked something about Islam, the elders keep saying, “Better ask an ustadz.”  The thing is, if I had known an ustadz, I would not have asked him.  My uncle asked if I even knew Surah al-Fatihah and condemned my ignorance in front of his two young sons.  I was embarrassed.  Even though I do know how to recite it, I refused to answer.  The arrogance of the Malay Muslim community in Singapore really turns me off.  After finding out more about Jehovah’s Witnesses, and then, Church of Our Savior, I was happy with how they accepted me with open arms.  They did not judge or condemn me.

The problem was when I asked certain questions related to the Bible, and they could not answer me.  I realised I was only at the church to be accepted, but I questioned myself, “Is Christianity the ‘Truth’?  I found it incomplete.  I started doing research on scientific evidences.  I ask the church a lot of things which they could not answer.  I was soon ostracised as a trouble maker.  I decided to ask a few extremely patient Muslims.  They gave me a copy of the Qur’an, the English translation.  And I was surprised that all my questions had been answered in the book.  In my search of Truth, I found God.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: And what would you say to someone in your position then, brother?

Brother Roy Nahar: I advise that they do a lot of research before committing to something whilst in the need for acceptance.  We tend to agree too easily with those who are so ready to accept us but there is always a catch.  They should take a step back and analyse.  I realise that those who said, “Ask an ustadz,” were only afraid of saying or making me understand something that they might not be quite clear about and hence would not want to unnecessarily spread blasphemy.

Sister Rina Tung-Vose: I will not judge or criticise the person who wants to leave, simply because I am a strong believer that there is no coercion in religion.  You simply cannot dictate one’s freedom of conscience.  I will still be there for the person, Muslim or otherwise.

Sister Marjorie Abdullah: Coming from a Catholic farming area in Ireland, where nearly everyone was basically good , honest , kind and friendly, I was shocked to find that a lot of Muslims I met in Malaysia were not honest, were very judgemental, sexist, thought nothing of watching pornography ,treated animals cruelly and were very racist.  I found Malay-Muslim men especially, were very arrogant, and wives always had the fear of divorce or him taking other wives in front of them if they were not ‘obedient’ enough.  This all really made me question Islam, but al-Hamdillah, I did have some examples of good Muslims and my reading showed me it was not Islam that was at fault but some chauvinistic Muslim men.

Sister Nico Le: I am at this point right now.  It has its ups and downs.  There are days I just want to leave and the only thing holding me in Islam is that I would need to explain myself to the rest of the Muslim Students’ Association, and then there are other days where I read stuff here and see not everything about Islam is cold, dark and condemning.

Sister Kareema Abdul Latif: Salaam.  I am a convert of 14 years, and I go through crisis of faith regularly.  My issue is isolation, being ostracised and misogyny in my community.  I have essentially spent almost 14 years alone.  I have one reliable friend who is a brother and people like to tell me it is not allowed but without him, I would have no one.  I get angry with Allah sometimes because I do not understand why I came to this beautiful religion to be left unmarried, without a family or much of a community; to be treated like I should just shut the hell up, to be back bitten and slandered - the list goes on.  I have been accused of terrorism, tortured by the police and such.  But I am still here, praying and doing my bit.  al-Hamdulillah, a lot of good things are also going for me too. They just do not seem to be enough for me.  I have come to really dislike a lot of Muslims.

During my crisis, I say what is on my mind to Allah, right or wrong.  I shout sometimes.  And somehow, I get through it.  This life is not easy for any of us; we all have our issues.  I just wish that the Muslim community had some more brains, a lot more heart and a willingness to build something together which includes women participating fully rather than being the token to somehow prove that Islam really does love women.

Sister Jennifer Giove: Sister Kareema, I know what you mean when you say you shout at Allah.  4 years ago I went through a series of multiple traumatic trials.  I screamed at Allah, swearing even and told him that while I wanted to pray, I could not.  It was like a block or something.  So I told Him that He was just going to have to be patient and wait until I got over my temper tantrum.  3 months later, out of fear for a friend’s safety and empathy for his long-time girlfriend, I prayed for them.  Within hours, my prayer was Answered.  Personally, I do not think Allah gave one whoot that I swore.  I was honest with Him and with myself and was sincere.  Allah Knows our hearts so not admitting that we have those negative feelings of Him or ourselves is lying and that is damaging.  With Him, it is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Sister Shauna Simon: What a lot of people fail to understand from a convert’s perspective, is being patient with us when we ask so many questions.  I come from a Catholic background where I attended classes and had priests telling me I should not be asking questions at all and that everything they say goes.  And, I get very frustrated when I am told that I am supposed to accept everything blindly.  How can I accept something whole heartedly with faith if I am not even sure if something I should be doing is right?  How then, will I be able to do my worship in all facets with certainty and love?  People cannot see what is in your heart when you ask questions.  They just write it off as unwillingness to comply or defiance or that I do not trust them.  On the contrary, I ask because I can feel that my heart is simply not at ease and I am searching for a way to understand before I act on anything.  At the end of my life, when I stand in Judgment in front of Allah, at least I can tell Him that I was trying my best to make sure that I got things right.

The above is just one of the many things that frustrate me as a convert, and have on many occasions made me feel like I have just hopped on the same bandwagon as when I was Catholic - Believe blindly, and do not ask questions.  I have gone from being mad at Allah (s.w.t.) to now just being mad at people.  Every time I feel compelled to leave Islam because people just make it so difficult, I just cannot.  Because, where else is there to go?  Which other religion is there superior to Islam?  None.  Who can argue with the facts and logic that Allah (s.w.t.) is One and that Muhammad (s.a.w.) is the Final Messenger?  I am still only Muslim not because of the majority of Muslims in my immediate surroundings, but by the Grace and Mercy of Allah (s.w.t.).

I would just advise the frustrated Muslim to focus solely on his or her relationship with Allah and the intentions of the heart.  If at all, I feel that giving some space to the already frustrated and overburdened Muslim and just being around for them, encouraging them to make the 5 prayers at least keeps them close to Allah (s.w.t.).

Brother Colin Turner: Never.  It has never occurred to me to leave Him.  However, it has often occurred to me to leave those who claim to love Him but clearly do not.

Sister Shauna Simon: Dr. Colin Turner, the problem will never go away if the people who are the main cause of frustration are family.  So I just feel like it is a constant struggle trying to be patient or accepting and always having to continue the struggle of at least fulfilling the obligations of 5 prayers and so forth.  Or find other ways to strengthen and focus on Allah. 

Brother Zarqa Yusuf: I think, as a born Muslim, I have no other option as I have never experienced any other religion or any other way of life.  I have my ups and downs like every person does but I have a strong belief that if you call on Allah, He always Helps whether it is opening the Qur’an and reading some verses or praying an extra prayer and asking Allah for Guidance with all your heart.  Crying and asking Allah for Forgiveness for any wrongdoings also is part of my prayer.  To my friends, I have always given the same advice.  In actual fact, I think it was my mother who gave me this advice and I continue to use it today and I try to pass it on.

Sister Samra Hussain: I am born Muslim and I sometimes feel like renouncing my faith because of overly aggressive and pushy Muslims.

Brother Colin Turner: But, Sister Samra, that would like me wanting to renounce my masculinity because of misogynistic, ignorant males.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: In 2009, I left Islam: A Muslim Convert Once More: Starting from Scratch.

Brother Colin Turner: Masha’Allah, may Allah Protect you and Keep you in His Fold, insha’Allah.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Amin.  It was for three days, and I did not miss a single prayer.  But I was very upset.  In retrospect, I resigned from the ummah.

Sister Shauna Simon: So you did not leave Islam then, brother.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: I wanted to.  But I had nowhere else to go.  I only knew one God.  And everything was His, so I had nowhere else to run.

Brother James Harris: Like Brother Colin, I have never considered actually leaving Islam, in spite of the often bad things I and others have received by the ‘pious’, and what often seems like a hopeless situation for Muslims.  I just go on and that is all there is to do.  It was simply a case of not renouncing what I believed in.  One cannot choose what they believe in.  You believe what you understand is the truth, and that cannot be forced out of you!  I just took it that many of the Muslims who misrepresent Islam do not understand what they are doing.  I largely stopped dealing with Muslim communities over the years though, in order to protect my faith, which is an odd situation to be in.  I have often felt a tremendous sense of hopelessness when being around people who misrepresent what I hold as sacred.

Brother Colin Turner: There is no reason to feel hopeless any more, Brother James, for any of us.  Not only because despair is proscribed, but because if there is at least one person in the world who thinks as you do, it is as though the whole world thinks as you do.  In that respect, none of us need ever be alone.

Sister Nimali Rodrigo: I have been in touch with my fithrah since I was seven and long before I knew anything about Islam, but some of my experiences in the ummah have certainly left me disheartened and lonely because it did not confirm to what my fithrah felt comfortable with.  On several occasions, I did not keep up with the Muslim lifestyle but I could not deny the truth of God and my own terrible weaknesses.  Over time, I have come to terms with the fact that my faith and that of some Muslims is not the same but that the biggest deceit of all is that I am more spiritually aware than others.  I have learned that each person goes through the learning curve of life in our own way and that it is not my place to judge the direction of a moving ship when it has not yet anchored and, indeed, I myself have not yet anchored.  I have also learned that, while I may not be very comfortable around many Muslims, I cannot be an island because the practice of my Diyn requires support and a spirit of Rahmah and comradery, and that ‘need’ does not diminish my iman in any way.

Sister Nico Le: As it seems, everybody here agrees that the Muslims are the problem.  I somewhat disagree. I see Islam as a far bigger problem than the Muslims.  They are just a nasty byproduct of being Muslim.  However Islam itself, and Allah, in particular, are very hard.  It is downright impossible to please Allah or follow enough Commandments to be a ‘good’ Muslim.

Sister Nimali Rodrigo: How specifically, Sister Nico Le?

Brother Colin Turner: Interesting comment, Sister Nico Le.  Could you elaborate on why and how you think God and Islam are ‘hard’?  It is a very honest admission and it would be a shame if we were not able to unpack and discuss it.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: I think it is significant that someone could come out and say something they would never say in any other convert group.

Sister Nico Le: In another group, I would now have been declared a kafir and got the haram card.  So thank you all.  It is just a general thing.  And I know one should not complain about Islam.  Actually, one should not complain at all.  I just wanted to add it to the discussion.  By the way, Sister Nimali Rodrigo, I absolutely loved your comment above mine.  I wanted to say that.  What I see is that we are bombarded with Commands.  In the Catholic tradition I come from there were no commands that I know.  However, most followers were still better humans than most Muslims I know.

In Islam, it is all done via negative reinforcement.  I know I should just have faith that this is the best way for things to be.  Another thing is Heaven.  It seems lovely if you are a 16-year-old boy who cannot keep it in his pants.  The ideal of a woman is a houri.  I can tell you I am pretty much the opposite.  Even if I had strong faith and would just submit to everything, I could not in good faith marry in good brother; I would feel sorry for him that he needs to have a wife like me.  Allah Created me in a way that does not fit into Islam.  And now, He Says, “Fit in or burn forever!”  If Allah would accept any other religion except Islam, I would leave.  But right now, I cannot do it.  Somehow, I have already accepted defeat.  I no longer expect to go to Heaven.  My only hope is that I will not go to Hell forever; that is the reason I am still a Muslim.  That and that my only friends are from the Muslim Students’ Association.  I live alone so if I did not know them, there would be days where I would not speak a single word to another person since the Swiss are very shy; they do not just talk to people.

Brother Colin Turner: Sister Nico Le, an older brother in Istanbul recently asked me how we in this country approach converts when they voice concerns over the difficulties they face in praying, fasting and so on.  I mentioned this forum and told him a little about the people here. Later that evening at a talk we were giving, the brother told the audience that the way to approach converts who are experiencing difficulties is with compassion, “like they do in the UK.”  I did not want to shatter his illusions by telling him that the only place to my knowledge where compassion is the keyword is The Sharing Group!  But it certainly seems that way sometimes.

Sister Rina Tung-Vose: Sister Nico Le, I feel your sorrow.  Personally, I find that it is alright to complain, especially to Allah.  People around me, the pretentious pious, would say count your blessing.  Complaint should not be taken as negativity.  It is just a form of communication with Allah.  I complain in meetings with Allah.  But at the same time, I ask for Guidance, Help, and Assistance to get me out of the misery.  Simply put, I do not stop at complaints.  Please do not feel bad about it.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Perhaps, Sister Nico Le, you should find your place with your lord without all these helpers and their noise.  The God you knew as a Catholic is the same God you know now.  If calling Him ‘Allah’ brings with it all the baggage and association of fire and brimstone, then call Him by whatever Name you want.  He will still Answer.  There is many a time when I feel that God I worship and the God that other Muslims worship seem to be different.  But then, people can only talk about what they know.  If they only knew anger and punishment, that is the God they introduce.  And if they see love and compassion, that is the God they talk about.  So worship your God, not theirs.

It is recorded, in Swahih al-Bukhari, the following hadits qudsi where the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Allah the Most High Said, ‘I am as My servant thinks of me. I am with him when he mentions Me.  If he mentions Me to himself, I Mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in an assembly, I Mention him in an assembly greater than it.  If he draws near to Me a hand’s length, I Draw Near to him an arm’s length.  And if he comes to Me walking, I Go to him at speed.’”

Sister Rhiannon Roesler Alobeid: Oh God, at least once every 6 months this happens.  I am frustrated because of my community.  Then something or someone intervenes; it is like Divine Intervention.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Is it not a miracle that after all this, we are all still here?

Sister Fazie A Hadi: I have personally always derived so much comfort in this and always want to remember this: “If he draws near to Me a hand’s length, I Draw Near to him an arm’s length.  And if he comes to Me walking, I Go to him at speed.”  How is it possible that we can turn away from a God Who is this Loving?

Sister Rina Tung-Vose: Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis, as much as we speak our mind out on The Sharing Group, I must say I do have some reservation to do so for the fear of my safety as to where I am located.  With all the gibberish and rubbish back home, one can easily be held heresy or even apostasy for the slightest reason.  I am frustrated having to filter my mind.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Are you in Malaysia, sister?

Sister Rina Tung-Vose: Correct!

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: The group is closed so there is a modicum of privacy.  And although the membership is large, there are very few Malaysians.  Most of our members are Singaporeans, followed by American, British and then other Europeans.  We have more Americans than we have Malaysians and most of those Malaysians are based in Singapore, or are converts.

Sister Rina Tung-Vose: Thank you for the information, Brother Terence.

Sister Marjorie Abdullah: I was called a kafir today in another forum, because I oppose the proposed hudud laws in Malaysia that are clearly discriminating to women.  It is no wonder people are afraid to speak out against the Islamic powers that be.

Brother Colin Turner: Sister Marjorie, you know you are doing something right when someone calls you a kafir to your face.  And could you tell us something about the proposed hudud laws?  The Brunei situation is well-known but nothing much has been said, at least in our press, about the Malaysian plan.

Sister Rina Tung-Vose: I really feel repugnant with the hudud talk in Malaysia.  The ummah, be it institution or people, that pushes it really has no idea what they are dealing with.  They cannot even handle the condition of a dual court system, in this case, the shari’ah and civil law, let alone the hudud.  When I converted, I did not sign up for this.

Sister Nimali Rodrigo: Sister Nico Le, do feel free to exhale and take time out if you need to from all the rituals that seem mind-numbing to you.  All that jazz about the do’s and do not’s is just Muslim-spiel, not God’s ‘spiel’ and, like in Christianity, Allah Admits people to Heaven not by their deeds, but by His Grace.  There are so many examples of people who only committed the do not’s but who actually loved God and sought His Forgiveness and these people were called the people of Paradise.  This does not mean the deeds do not matter, but that the intention behind them matter more - and that intention needs to be to walk towards His Nearness.

There is a story you might have heard before of a man who did no good in his life and killed 99 people but who repented.  He was told to walk to a certain point overland to be Forgiven.  On his way there, he killed another man for he just could not seem to control his temper, then he felt awful for it and repented again and continued walking.  He did not make it to the destination point before he died, but because of his yearning for God, the proportions of the earth were altered such that the destination was Brought to him and God still Accepted him into Paradise.  Can you imagine doing no good deeds and killing 100 people and still being Accepted by God?  That is Grace.  There are so many stories of God’s Love that we do not get told because people think it is better to motivate us by horrific imaginations of fire and brimstones dangling under our every misdeed.

For me, my God is not a great big man wearing a scowl over all of us, holding a tablet of ticks and crosses for our every move, and a short list of only 20,000 who can make it to his heavenly brothel.  No!  Astaghfirullah! I resist that image of God, and seek only to love He Who Loves and Provides for me so much.  In trying to get closer to Him, I bungled so many times.  I mean every day.  Sister, I probably do more wrongs than you can even think of doing yourself.  And I slip up ten times more in my Islamic rituals than I do in my worldly tasks, but I know that there is still hope for me with His Grace to be balanced in my daily life, and so, like the killer of 99, I continue my walk, stumbling and falling, with trust that I walk in the right direction and prayers for sincerity in my heart.  And I know that even if I do not get there, what matters is that I am walking.

Sister Nico Le: Sister Nimali Rodrigo, thank you for your words, sister.  I should have been more precise actually with the do’s and do not’s. I included all the inner feelings like loving God, trusting in him, having a good intention, and so forth.  But honestly, sister, I really love what you wrote it is full with so much love and trust for Allah.

Brother Colin Turner: It is quite instructive to think that most of the people who criticise this group do so because they accuse it of trying to impose a certain collective view.  In reality, they criticise the group because the group latches on to the fact that they are trying to impose a certain view.  In short, their criticisms are nothing more than projection: they accuse the group of what they themselves have been criticised for doing.  One of the reasons I came here, and stayed, was both the openness of the group to diverse ideas and opinions, and the insistence of the group that trying to close down discussion on account of the perceived righteousness of one’s own position should be proscribed.  It seems that the group has kept to its principles admirably.

Sister Nimali Rodrigo: Iman swings up and down.  We are not angels, after all.  Thank God, He does not expect us to be.  I love the Buddhist saying that whatever negative thought or feeling comes over us is only passing so let it pass.  Even bad intentions and spite towards God and man will come and go like clouds.  If we are honest to each other, we all have shitty days where we just want to scream, “I don't care anymore!  Let me out of here! It's too much!”  Hey, did not Maryam (a.s.) also say that in the Qur’an?

Brother Colin Turner: Another reason that this forum is special is the fact that it is mainstream and inclusive, which is how mainstream was always meant to be.

There are twenty people in a boat, and one is a murderer.  Would it be justified, in order to punish the murderer, to sink the whole boat?  Of course not.  We are that boat.  By our own admission, you have major flaws.  So, would it be justifiable to sink the boat of our being on account of one major flaw, while overlooking nineteen positive points?  Of course not.  Even if we had nineteen negative points and only one positive point, no-one would be justified in dismissing each of us as out of hand.  The people on this forum are generous of spirit; no-one is ready to capsize our ships on account of one negative character trait.

Brother Tarek Sourani: Peace altogether.  What a beautiful and honest dialogue here.  This really is how people and Muslims should communicate between each other, with love and compassion.  There was a time, shortly after my conversion, in which I distanced myself from religion, because of you could say, worldly pleasures but I have not officially rejected Islam.  As for the general community, I have to say that I have met a lot of positive, honest and warm people and I am very happy about that.  But I think, as a woman, it must be gruesome among the general Muslim community and that is one thing which bothers me a lot and makes me really sad.  In every respect, I am in favour of strengthening woman.  Also I think that if the Muslims in my community would knew my hidden views on certain topics, the friendship and good behavior would quickly disappear.  I will keep them, therefore, for me.

Beside my best friends, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, it is the first time I am talking more openly of topics which concerns me in this forum.  So for the topic, I do not doubt the ‘ibadah or beliefs, but I have had a long struggle with God and myself concerning the salvation of others and the last eschatological realities.  But, al-Hamdulillah, I have found my personal answers.  Now I struggle in few matters such as certain events from the sirah of the Rasul (s.a.w.) and the punishments of shari’ah.

Sister Nico Le, a shaykh once told me, if only we knew or could imagine how Merciful God is, He Whose Essence is Goodness, we would not have to pray.  It is for our own good.  It is true, the Qur’an is sometimes hard then again at the same time very warm, but we need to keep in mind His Absolute and Infinite Goodness, Mercy and Love. . Rahmah is His Essence.  Whoever closes the door to God’s Rahmah is indeed a shaythan.  Wa as-Salaam.

Sister Samra Hussain: Brother, you are right about women’s issues.  It is quite disgusting the state of women’s rights in many Muslim institutions, especially mosques.  I wish I had no emotions sometimes because the complete indifference with which many a’immah treat women is heart wrenching.  Basically, women and children are a nuisance.  I am a woman and I have children and I do not see any strong campaign by any Toronto mosque to draw us in.

Sister Marjorie Abdullah: Brother Colin Turner, you asked about the hudud in Malaysia.  I hope this helps: “Let’s Not be Hoodwinked into Hudud.

Sister Angela Marie Young: I am a day late, but this question was one that really spoke to me at the moment, since I am once again on the down swing of the pendulum.  I have come close to leaving Islam more than once.  I will try and make this short, since it can be a long series of stories that led me to where I am.

First thing I wanted to do was learn how to pray.  This was done by telling me just to do what everyone else is doing.  When they got around to sharing the words with me, it was all Arabic, and I had no clue what I was saying.  6 years later, and I am not too much better off.  More important it seemed, was to pick a new name - which I never did since I like mine, enter and exit the bathroom with the correct foot, and of course, hijab, hijab, hijab.  There was no celebrating birthdays, holidays and events, no more music, and a long list of things that are haram.

Then, there is the masjid ridiculousness: cultural politics; racism; lack of good, honest leadership; lack of organisation; no da’wah programmes; no convert programmes or help; no service programmes; and no social welfare programs.  I was raised Catholic, so service and care for the needy was a huge thing growing up.  There was no assistance for people in the Muslim community much less the local community as whole, and yet they were always bragging about being the ones who know the truth, or are on the right path.  The audacity to act and think and vocalise this way about a people who do not even feed the hungry in their community just finally made me sick.  And when I tried to get something going, and get us out there as I was not the only one who felt this way, the backlash was unbelievable and really, all I did was isolate myself from the ummah and make myself a target for scapegoating of the shutdown of the local women’s halaqah, after taking place for 17 years, and the destruction of the women’s community.  I live in a Salafi nest.  Separation has always been strict over here.

There is corruption.  I will not say too much about it, but it is sufficient to say there are money issues, law breaking issues, cover-ups and general grossness that I just cannot sit by and watch.

There is extremism.  The local mosque managers quote ‘Abdullah ‘Azzam; call Osama bin Laden ‘shaykh’, and tell male converts to go learn Islam at camps in al-Munifiyyah, Egypt and Damajj, Yemen.  The things they say about Jews, Christians, and women are bewildering and scary and I do not want to be anywhere near it.

They are generally assholes.  Sadly, I have not been around a group of people that are more kind and generous and loving, and yet, are so judgmental, cruel, cocky, and mean.  Learning about the Prophet (s.a.w.), and being around Muslims is like being in a twilight zone.  You cannot imagine these people have learned, absorbed and claim to follow the man's teachings.

So there is my story.  I have a blog about my journey.  I have not updated it in a while because things have been so bad for so long, I do not even know what to say anymore.  I am still stuck, still lost, although I am an ounce better than last year at this time.  I do not know what will bring me back.  But I hope something does soon.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Thank you so much, Sister Angela, for your heartfelt comments.  It is an indictment of how, as an ummah, we have a long way to go.

Sister Samra Hussain: Sister Angela, I am so sorry you have had to go through so much.  I am not sure if it is much consolation, but despite being a born Muslim, I have isolated myself from the Muslim community.  I can't stand mosques for the very same reasons you witnessed yourself.  I worked as a teacher at a few Islamic schools and see the mismanagement, corruption, and downright cruelty towards staff and students by the administrators.  Most of my friends are Muslim.  However, they are all of the same cultural background as I am, so it is based more on cultural connections than religious affiliation.  Feel free to friend me on Facebook if you like.  I pray you can hold on to Allah (s.w.t.) and Rasul (s.a.w.).

Brother Ishaq Mohammed: Sister Angela, I am so very sorry to hear about this. I t was painful to read your story and the more painful realising that it is true from other accounts I have seen and read. 

I would love to go on the defense of the Diyn and say, “Well, that was not true Islam,” and so forth, and for sure it was not, but that is some of the experiences both converts and born Muslims have experienced.  It is enough to make one throw in the towel all together.  I feel very privileged that I got to know the bulk of the Diyn through this group and self study, and that my local muswalah is very small at only 10 people, of which I am one, and fairly moderate.  Had I the same experiences as you, I would be grilling pork chops and drinking Jack Daniels the very next day.

I think that is the number one enemy of Islam; not the West, not Christians, not Jews – but Muslims.  Or rather, MINOs, Muslims in Name Only.  The ones who strain at gnats and swallow she camels, who are quick to declare everything from Goldfish Crackers to Bozo the Clown as haram, and they claim to be the spokespeople for Islam.  Yet the Qur’an States:


Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, “We believe," and that they will not be Tested?  We did Test those before them, and Allah will certainly Know those who are true from those who are false. (Surah al-‘Ankabut:2-3)

Please take heart, my sister, and know the true Reward is for those like you who are not about rules and regulations, but the love of Allah (s.w.t.), and the Prophet (s.a.w.) alone.


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The Sharing Group Discussion on Making Du'a at the Grave

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Sister Peta Stewart posted the following on The Sharing Group on the 26th February, 2015.  She said, “Are you trying to say that it is sunnah to make du’a to a grave?  Actually grave worship is a form of major shirk.”  She quoted the following:


And most of them believe not in Allah without associating (others as partners) with Him! (Surah Yusuf:106)

  
Is it not to Allah that sincere devotion is due?  But those who take for protectors other than Allah (say), “We only serve them in order that they may bring us nearer to Allah.”  Truly Allah will Judge between them in that wherein they differ.  But Allah Guides not such as are false and ungrateful. (Surah az-Zumar:3)

And she quoted the ahadits recorded by Imam at-Tirmidzi (r.a.), where the Prophet (s.a.w) said, “Verily supplication is worship.”  This is also mentioned by Imam ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani (r.a.) in Bulugh al-Maram.  She said the ahadits was related by the four a’immah of fiqh, which may have been an error since only Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.) was a muhaddits.

She quoted also, the hadits from Swahih Muslim, “Do not pray facing towards the graves, and do not sit on them.”

And she quoted from Swahih al-Bukhari (r.a.), that when the illness of Allah’s (s.w.t.) Messenger (s.a.w.) was aggravated, he covered his face with a khamisah, but when he became short of breath, he would remove it from his face and say, “It is like that!  May Allah curse the Jews and Christians because they took the graves of their prophets as places of worship.”

She said, “This was explained very clearly in the Islamic Online University by Bilal Philips.  May Allah Guide us to the truth.  Amen.”

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: To supplicate at the grave is the same as supplication elsewhere, and follows the same norms and etiquette of supplication.  Shirk, on the other hand, is to worship other than God.

As for the quote of Imam ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani (q.s.), he said that to make du’a is a form of ‘ibadah.  There is no mention of shirk in that entire paragraph of the original book.

As for the ahadits, the sharh is clear that it means we do not prostrate to the qabr.  That is why there is no sujud in swalah al-janazah.  The portion about not sitting on the graves pertains to adab.  We are not even allowed to sit on the graves, and yet the Wahhabis go around tearing them down and desecrating the corpses.  These kafirun have no adab.

As for Bilal, his opinion on matters of religion have no worth.  We take our religion from the Muslims.  He has taken here, if this is from him, various verses and passages and tied them up into some fantasy, insinuating that the Muslims are engaged in shirk when it is a sunnah.  He has ignored dala’il that contradict him.  That is deception, the very trait of the Wahhabi sect.

The following article, A Muslim Convert Once More: Permissibility of Visiting the Grave, is a summary of opinions of our pious predecessors, the sort of people Bilal is not even fit to kiss the dust on their feet.  If he had followed Islam, instead of kufr, perhaps he would be Guided.  We du’a this kafir comes to Islam and takes his shahadah.

Brother David Rosser Owen: Bilal Philips is not a reliable authority.

Sister Lorraine Nur-Shufiya Branson: We should be careful when we read, listen while constantly learning, go back to the old scholars that have worth rather than the modern propaganda that makes disputes amongst Muslims.  It is enough to see ISIS as radicals, hence making Islam look bad, and this has been foretold.

Sister Peta Stewart: I see the sunnah is easy to distinguish.  For the love of Allah (s.w.t.):


Say, “If ye do love Allah, follow me: Allah will Love you and Forgive you your sins; for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surah Ali ‘Imran:31)

Prophet Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) position of grave worship is clear.  It is recorded in Swahih al-Bukhari that ‘Aishah (r.a.) and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.) narrated that when the last moment of the life of Allah's Messenger (s.a.w.) came, he started putting his khamisah on his face and when he felt hot and short of breath, he took it off his face and said, “May Allah Curse the Jews and Christians for they built the places of worship at the graves of their prophets.”  The Prophet (s.a.w.) was warning Muslims of what those had done.

It was narrated that ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.) said, “The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) cursed women who visit graves, and those who take them as masjid and put lamps on them.”  This is from Sunan an-Nasa’i, and is swahih.

Another narration from Sunan an-Nasa’i records that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “May Allah Curse the Jews and Christians who took the graves of their prophets as masjid.” This was graded as hasan.

Furthermore the ‘place of worship’ was referring to the people of the cave and was not in the time of the Muslims.  A little tafsir went astray there.  Or maybe Shaythan has convinced people of other stories to support their claims.  May Allah (s.w.t.) Protect us from shirk.  Amen.  One may and must question who is twisting.  Shaythan has been misguiding the people from the time of Adam (a.s.) and it is no surprise he is working hard to deceive people to commit shirk as this is his success.  May Allah (s.w.t.) Protect us from the handiwork of Shaythan.  Amen.  May Allah (s.w.t.) Make us sincere and Show us the truth as truth and falsehood as falsehood.  Amen.

Brother David Rosser Owen: If your mind is already made up around what Philips says, Sister Peta, it will be difficult to talk about a different perspective.  I regularly go to family graves to tend them and put flowers on them - that is not worshipping at graves, obviously, and I think even Philips would agree.

When I visit the graves of Muslims I know, like Muhammad Knight or Mahmoud Norrington at Brookwood Cemetery, or Michael Scott of Glenaros on Mull, I recite Surah al-Fatihah for them: that is not worshipping the person in the grave, and I would defy the most ardent of Wahhabi juhalah to find this to be shirk, including Philips.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: All your points have already been addressed in the article above, Sister Peta Stewart.  We are not Wahhabis here and we reject their heretical teachings.  Nobody here is going to be convinced by simply taking a hadits or ayat without context and divorced from the jumhur.  To take our religion from Bilal Philips is akin to taking a lesson from Shaythan.  There is no worth in anything he says and there is no benefit is taking from him.  It leads people astray from the ummah, into innovation, kufr and shirk.

In Swahih al-Bukhari, it is reported that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “By Allah, I do not fear that you will commit shirk after me, but that you will fight each other for dunya.  The Wahhabi sect, on the other hand, is always accusing the Muslims of shirk.  They claim shirk in dzikr, shirk in ziyarat, shirk in Mawlid, shirk in tahlil and shirk in anything that they do not understand, or deliberately misunderstand.  It is an irony that they, this 2% of those who say the shahadah, these cockroaches, are the ones guilty of shirk.  They believe that Allah (s.w.t.) is in a place, that He has a form, that He moves up and down literally.  That is shirk, real idolatry; not these false charges against the Muslims.

It is the mark of the unbelievers, the people of Shaythan, who seek to lead Muslims astray by finding minor faults where there is none, and yet, they are the practitioners of major faults.  If Wahhabism were truly the Path, the why are its fruits so bitter?  Why did every mufti of the Wahhabi sect in Makkah eventually go blind, first in the right eye?  Why are their faces so dark?  I suggest you clear your heart and perform swalat al-istikharah.  For those who are sincere, there is always Guidance.  Allah (s.w.t.) did not leave us without Guidance.  May He Open your heart, for He is Muqallib al-Qulub, and Show you Islam.

Sister Fatima Ali Faruque Naqshbandi: Sister Peta, honestly, do you divorce reality when you visit a loved one’s resting place?  A spiritual loved one is no different.  Or do you not visit at all?  Your thoughts on the direction of du’a is also nonsensical.  Allah Ta’ala occupies no time and space.  Why would one even need to turn their backs to any loved one to do dual and recitation?  The qiblah is not where only Allah Ta’ala is.  The Rawdhah ash-Sharif of Rasulullah (s.a.w.) is a tomb inside Masjid an-Nabawi.  Whose body is in Masjid Ibrahim?  You are divorcing reality from every single thing constantly.  Should women be forbidden from visiting their loved ones?  We know the prophets, ‘ulama and awliya’ are not Allah Ta’ala Himself.  Should we not be reminded of death?  It is like reading a child’s understanding of things when reality and scholarship is so much more.  Allah Ta’ala Guide us indeed.  Amin.

Brother Hamayoon Sultan Qurayshi: Yes, Shaythan convinced 1,200 years of orthodox and established scholarship before ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab of the incorrect interpretations of the religion; they were all, therefore, mushrikun and kafirun according to him.  But then, the Horn of Shaythan, who was presumably free from such evil influence if Wahhabi apologetics are to be believed, came to set things straight.  He alone was free from the influence of Shaythan as opposed to 1,200 years of orthodox and established scholarship before him and all of it since.  That makes sense!

Sister Peta Stewart: Thank you, Brother David Rosser Owen.  Of course there is nothing wrong with visiting graves and contemplating on one’s own death; this is encouraged.  As for reciting Surah al-Fatihah for the righteous, can I ask if this was from the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) as there were many righteous who passed away in his time?

Thank you, Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis. I call myself a Muslim and do my best to adhere to the teachings of my beloved Prophet (s.a.w.).  Your article is mainly written by what some would claim to be deviant scholars and there have been deviants even from the time of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and the swahabah.  However, I am interested in confirming the comments of Imam ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani (r.a.).  Can you please give me the Arabic text so I can confirm his statement?


O ye who believe!  Enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of the Evil One; for he is to you an avowed enemy. (Surah al-Baqarah:208)
  
  
... This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed my favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.  But if any is forced by hunger, with no inclination to transgression, Allah is indeed Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful. (Surah al-Ma’idah:3)

Muhammad (s.a.w.) and His sunnah are sufficient for me and a clear path.

Brother Abdulkareem C Stone: There are many things the Prophet (s.a.w.) did not like, warned us against and are haram but that does not make them shirk.  This is where knowledge and learning become so important.  It seem as the capability of scholar decreased over time the ability to master all the branches of knowledge diminished.  Those who embraced the study of ahadits tended to become deficient in fiqh and started making literal interpretations of ahadits.  To actually make a fatwa of things being shirk or haram needs a grounding in the knowledge of Qur’an, the 'amal of Madina, qiyas as well as ahadits.

The Wahhabi ignores many branches of knowledge and makes rulings mainly on the basis of the ahadits in the six books that were actually compiled quite late on and were all after the a’immah of fiqh had established the principles of fiqh.  These books were written by those who recognised vital importance of the a’immah of fiqh.  They were compiled to assist those well-grounded in the schools of fiqh.  We do not look to ahadits first.  Rather, we look to the ‘ulama grounded in fiqh that preceded the major compilations of ahadits.  They never ruled that worship at a grave was shirk.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: The only person deviant here is Bilal and his ilk, sister.  You should take your religion from Muslims, not these kafirun.  The thing is, Sister Peta Stewart, you are asking for the Arabic.  I could give it, but would it be helpful?  You have already made up your mind.  In the course of several threads, I have quoted successive muftiyyun of Makkah and Madina until the Wahhabis conquered the Haramayn.  I have quoted the Shaykh al-Islam of the Ottoman Empire, approximately forty major scholars from Hind to Maghrib.  They included the Shaykh of al-Azhar, the muftiyyun of Cyprus, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and India.  They included some of our great muhaddits, fuqaha’ and mutakallimun who lived in that period.  I have quoted the family of Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab and his teachers.  I have given pages of dala’il.  And all you have given me is Bilal Philips.  And then you say that ‘some’ would consider these scholars deviant?  Who comprise this ‘some’ except Wahhabis?  And that proves my point about their kufr and takfir.  They have always attacked the actual scholars.  That is their modus operandi.  There is no other way for a bankrupt doctrine to gain any headway except by that.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “There will be, in my ummah, dissent and a faction; a people with excellent words and vile deeds.  They will read Qur’an, but their faith does not go past their throats.  They will pass through religion the way an arrow passes through its quarry.  They will no more come back to the religion than the arrow will come back to its original course.  They are the worst of human beings and the worst of all Creation.  The one who kills them or is killed by them is Blessed.  They summon to the book of Allah but they have nothing to do with it.  Whoever kills them is closer to Allah than they.  Their sign is that they shave [their heads].”  It is wajib to hate that which Allah (s.w.t.) and His Prophet (s.a.w.) Hates.  And I have only hatred for them.  And it is the duty of the believers to fight the followers of Dajjal until the end of time.

Brother Mansoor Rizvi: Sister Peta Stewart, Hafizh ibn Katsir (r.a.) reported that at the death of Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.), who is responsible for some of these ideas about shirk that you're trying to promote, the Qur’an was recited on his dead body by his followers.  I thought you might find that interesting to know.

Sister Peta Stewart, here is a link, which includes the Arabic, from Hafizh ibn Katsir’s (r.a.) al-Bidayah wa an-Nihayah which describes the death of Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) and how the Qur’an was being recited on his body: Death of Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.): What Really Happened?

Brother Colin Turner: We are encouraged to make du’a for each other, Sister Peta Stewart, and also to ask others to make du’a for us.  Why would that be shirk?  And would it be any different if we were to ask someone who had died to pray for us?

Brother Billy Johnston: I do not see how anyone can claim the scholars Brother Terence used in his article as ‘deviant’ while at the same time somehow quote Bilal Philips as if he is more credible.  Bilal is a controversial and questionable figure.  And that is even before touching the issue of his credentials.

Sister Peta Stewart: Thank you, Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis, but did you not realise that I am quoting from the Qur’an and authentic sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.)?  And who have we been instructed to follow?  Allah (s.w.t.) and His messenger (s.a.w.)?  Or others?


But those who believe and do deeds of righteousness ― We shall soon Admit them to Gardens, with rivers flowing beneath ― to dwell therein forever.  Allah’s Promise is the Truth, and whose word can be truer than Allah’s? (Surah an-Nisa’:122)

And Muhammad (s.a.w.) left us with a clear path.  Brother Mansoor Rizvi’s comment is true.  But I am interested in what my Lord The Most High and His messenger (s.a.w.) have taught me and not the actions of others although I do respect the earlier scholars especially Imam Malik (r.a.), Imam Ahmad (r.a.), Imam Abu Hanifah (r.a.), Imam ash-Shafi’i (r.a.), Imam Abu Layts (r.a.), Imam Muslim (r.a.), Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.), Imam ibn Hajr (r.a.) and others.  As for Bilal Philips, I never quoted him.  I only said he explained that issue well.  May Allah (s.w.t.) Forgive us and Make the truth clear.  Amen.

Thank you, Brother Colin Turner.  Is it the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) to ask the deceased to pray of us?  I am looking for the sunnah of Muhammad (s.a.w.).


“It is Allah who is my Lord and your Lord; then worship Him.  This is a way that is straight.” (Surah Ali ‘Imran:51)

I am looking for the Straight Path.  May Allah Guide us with surety to the Straight Path.  Amen.

Thank you, Brother Abdulkareem C Stone about seeking knowledge but correct me if I am wrong, shirk is to associate partners with Allah (s.w.t.) in worship, and I am referring to grave worship, worshipping something other than Allah (s.w.t.):


Say: “Will ye worship, besides Allah, something which hath no power either to harm or benefit you?  But Allah, ― He it is that Heareth and Knoweth all things.” (Surah al-Ma’idah:76)

Brother Abdulkareem C Stone: Really, only Allah Knows what is in the heart.  A person can stand in front of the Ka’bah or anywhere in any masjid and have in his mind Allah as a body, that he has a jism, and worship this false concept.  In this way many Wahhabi are themselves guilty of the very thing they accuse the rest of the ummah.

Brother Colin Turner: Sister Peta Stewart, just because something is not the sunnah of the Prophet (s.a.w.) does not preclude it from being right.

Brother Abdulkareem C Stone: If a person stands in front a grave and speaks to the inhabitant, there is no problem.  If he prays to Allah (s.w.t.) at that time, there is no problem.  If he or she asks the inhabitant of the grave to make du’a for him or her, there is no problem.  If, however, they ask the saint to do something, thinking he can act independent of Allah, that is shirk.

Making sujud to a grave is haram but is not shirk.  Shirk has been an absolute with Allah so Yusuf (a.s.) being a prophet of Allah would not have permitted shirk.  Yes, making sujud to Creation was prohibited by Muhammad (s.a.w.), but there are many things haram that are not shirk.  The Wahhabi wrongly applied the verses addressed to the disbelieving Quraysh to the Muslims.  It was largely for financial reasons, as they felt justified in invading the Haramayn and plundering its wealth.  The Saudis rehashed their old doctrines to justify the rebellion against the khalifa’.  They are heretics whose fathers committed some of the greatest crimes.  With their defiant ideas, they founded a university and scouted the world for young men eager to learn.  They financed the likes of Bilal Philips and indoctrinated them with their feeble justifications of the fathers’ crimes.

Sister Fatima Ali Faruque Naqshbandi: In my culture, khadam busi, which literally translates into holding the part that one steps on, is touching and kissing the feet of one’s elder and loved ones.  It is widely known as a mark of respect and love in Bengal, Assamese and the wider cultural traditions in those areas.  It becomes so messy when love and respect is always translated into worship.  Why did Allah Ta’ala Ask all to bow down to Adam (a.s.)?  And the same in the dream of Yusuf (a.s.).

Brother Billy Johnston: One needs to use caution in loosely quoting ayat and ahadits.  Many are subjective to interpretation.  Not all are universal.  Some are limited to specific circumstances or moments in time.

Sister Mahshid Turner: I agree.  Literal understanding of the Qur’an is very dangerous.  One cannot take out one verse in isolation from other verses; it needs a holistic approach.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Sister Peta Stewart, simply quoting the Qur’an and the ahadits according to your understanding carries no weight at all.  That is why we have these fields of study.  Where is the basis of it?  And why does it ignore qiyas and ijma’?

Brother Abdulkareem C Stone: The thing Sister Peta Stewart needs to consider is the danger heretics like Bilal Philip pose to their faith.  They worship an idea of God which is essentially an idol.

Brother James Harris: Bilal Philips gave a talk at my university not long after I had embraced Islam.  I remember specifically that he tackled the question, “Where is Allah?”  His response, quoting a hadits, was: “He is in the sky.”

Brother Abdulkareem C Stone: He is attributing created aspects to Allah (s.w.t.) in ways the ‘ulama consider to be shirk.

Brother James Harris: Yes.  Locating Allah (s.w.t.) in relation to a specific physical place within His Creation.

Brother Abdulkareem C Stone: People rightly get upset at the destruction of holy sites and relics but the destruction that thugs like these have done is far worse.  Our ‘ulama endeavoured to protect our ‘aqidah from foolish interpretations and this thugs destroys the reputation of the sincere imam’s of ‘aqidah.

Brother Billy Johnston: Bilal Philips has alleged terrorist links and is on public record supporting violence.  He is a rather shady figure.  If I am not mistaken, he has given statements that indicate support for suicide bombings, he was linked to knowing some individuals in the WTC bombing, and I believe he is also unwelcome in several countries, if memory serves me correctly.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: He is banned in several countries including Singapore.

Brother Mansoor Rizvi: Sister Peta Stewart, I humbly encourage you to check out other people aside from Bilal Philips such as Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad, Shaykh Ninowy, Shaykh Hassanain Rajabali, Shaykh Ammar Naqshwani, Shaykh Shomali and Shaykh Bahmanpour of the UK for good information on Islamic knowledge, ‘aqidah, and so forth.

Sister Peta Stewart: Making du’a in general is permissible.  However making du’a ‘to’ a grave, which was the statement posted by ibn Baz, is the issue.  Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) reported Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.) as saying, “Do not make your houses as graveyards.  Satan runs away from the house in which Surah al-Baqarah is recited.”  This is from Swahih Muslim, and it implies that the Qur’an is not read at graveyards.

I am a student of knowledge and that knowledge has been passed down by scholars until it has reached us today.  And yes, Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis, the concept of ijma’ was accepted by the a’immah.  Ijma’ of the companions is considered a legally established proof.  So if you can present an ijma’ of the companions on the issue of worshipping the graves, asking the dead to make du’a, then we will agree that it is acceptable.  And our main source of deriving these rulings are from Imam Malik (r.a.), Imam Abu Hanifah (r.a.), Imam ash-Shafi’i (r.a.), Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.), Imam al-Layts (r.a.) and so forth.  However, we do not accept the ijma’ of a select group of scholars who came later and made up their own set of rules.

Abu Wa’il (r.a.) narrated that ‘Ali (k.w.) said to Abu al-Hayyaj al-Asadi (r.a.), “I am dispatching you with what the Prophet (s.a.w.) dispatched me: that you not leave an elevated grave without levelling it, nor an image without erasing it.”  This is from Jami’ at-Tirmidzi and is hasan.

It was narrated that Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah said, “In his khuthbah, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) used to praise Allah as He Deserves to be praised, then he would say, ‘Whomsoever Allah (s.w.t.) Guides, none can lead him astray, and whomsoever Allah (s.w.t.) leaves astray, none can guide.’  The truest of word is the Book of Allah and best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (s.a.w.).  The worst of things are those that are newly invented; every newly-invented thing is an innovation and every innovation is going astray, and every going astray is in the Fire.  Then he said, ‘The Hour and I have been sent like these two.’  Whenever he mentioned the Hour, his cheeks would turn red, and he would raise his voice and become angry, as if he were warning of an approaching army and saying, ‘An army is coming to attack you in the morning, or in the evening!’  ‘Whoever leaves behind wealth, it is for his family, and whoever leaves behind a debt or dependents, then these are my responsibility, and I am the most entitled to take care of the believers.’”  This is swahih from Sunan an-Nasa’i.

And there is an established fiqh principle that everything with respect to worship is impermissible unless it is established in the Qur’an and sunnah.  And everything with regard to worldly affairs is permissible unless there is a prohibition in the Qur’an and sunnah.  May Allah Guide us to the truth and the Straight Path.  Amen.

Brother Colin Turner: What are ‘worldly affairs’?

Brother Billy Johnston: Technically, what we do in our worldly affairs should be an act of worship, as they should be done in remembrance of Allah (s.w.t.).  If I take the literal interpretation of ‘The worst of things are those that are newly invented,’ I guess we are all going to Hell for using Facebook, cell phones, computers, automobiles, and so forth.

Sister Fatima Ali Faruque Naqshbandi: Sister Peta, Bilal Philips and the Wahhabis do not have ijazat back to the Prophet (s.a.w.). Those who do have not only mastered their particular branch of knowledge but accept a lot of what the a’immah and awliya’ throughout the ages have accepted.  Just because one thinks they are Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah does not make them one.  Your comments seems to suggest more a lot of mixing and matching with superficial understanding than nuanced knowledge on the subjects you speak of.  I am not surprised one bit.

Brother Abdulkareem C Stone: They have ijazah that go back to a self-taught fraud called al-Albani.  He died fairly recently and was a vehement opponent of those with real ijazah.

Brother Abdul-Halim Vazquez: Sister Peta Stewart, to clarify my position, I do not think the people who are engaging in the ‘controversial’ practice under discussion are praying to a grave and committing shirk.  People are praying to Allah, at a grave.  Or praying to Allah (s.w.t.) by means of a saint.  Maybe you can find specific examples of people who cross the line, but the properly understood orthodox practice is not shirk.  My understanding is that Wahhabis mischaracterise the practice and set up a strawman argument.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Sister Peta Stewart, the ijma’ and qiyas are already given in the article posted.  Please take note of the names.

Sister Peta Stewart: Sorry, Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis, I went through the article again and I did not find any ijma’ in the article aside from the permissibility to build mounds over graves and possibly visiting graves, which we all agree on anyway.  Building structures, worshipping and asking the dead to supplicate on one’s behalf are issues which need clarification.  And to my knowledge these are not acts which are sanctioned by the a’immah.

As for ‘worldly affairs’, there are explicit acts of worship, such as prayer, fasting, sacrificing etc. and eating, drinking, dressing or using new technology are worldly matters, which are also acts of worship but implicitly.  So, for example, a new Muslim will approach worship in a manner that only what is established in the sunnah of Muhammad (s.a.w.).  And as for his food, drink and leisure, he will continue to eat and drink as before until he learns of what is established in the sunnah as being prohibited, like drinking alcohol and eating pork.  May Allah Guide us to the deeds which Please Him and are Accepted by Him.  Amen.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Imam ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Alawi al-Haddad (q.s.) was a mujtahid and a mujaddid, the quthb of his time in the religious sciences.  What he says, is what the scholars of Yemen say.  He said, “Praying for dead, asking Forgiveness for them, and giving charity on their behalf are some of the things God Causes the dead in their graves to benefit from and be Protected by.  There are many ahadits about this, and may fine and virtuous people have witnessed it in their dreams.”  This is found here: A Muslim Convert Once More: How the Living May Benefit the Dead.

The ‘aqidah of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah is that our beloved Prophet (s.a.w.) and all the prophets are alive in their graves.  This is the ‘aqidah held by us throughout the ages, and many books have been written on this subject.

Imam Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuthi (q.s.) compiled narrations on this subject in his Inba’ al-Azkiya bi Hayat al-Anbiya’, in which he quoted many evidences in support of this belief.  Similarly, other scholars such as Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.), Imam ‘Abd al-Wahhab ash-Sha’rani (r.a.) and Imam ibn al-Qayyim (r.a.) in his ar-Ruh have also written and gathered evidences with regards to this.  These are a compilation of our position by many of our great scholars by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam: A Muslim Convert Once More: Are the Prophets Alive in Their Graves?

A century ago, eleven major scholars of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah in India issued a fatwa on the lawfulness of travelling with the explicit intention of visiting the Prophet (s.a.w.) in response to the following questions: What do you say concerning travelling to visit the Prophet (s.a.w.)?  Which do you prefer for the traveller at the time of undertaking travel: to intend to visit the Prophet (s.a.w.), or to intend also to visit the mosque?  For someone said, “One traveling to Madina must not intend other than the Mosque of the Prophet.”  The reply was reproduced in full in the book, al-Mufannad al-Muhannad, and Shaykh Muhammad ibn `Alawi al-Maliki (q.s.) again reproduced it recently in his book, Shifa’ al-Fu’ad bi Ziyarat Khayr al-‘Ibad.  This fatwa was subsequently approved and co-signed by scholars of Makkah, Madina, Egypt, and Syria.  It is found here: A Muslim Convert Once More: Fatwa of Forty-Five Scholars on Visiting the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) Grave.

Shaykh ‘Ali Juma’ah was asked regarding the permissibility of praying in mosques containing shrines and building domes over such shrines: A Muslim Convert Once More: The Permissibility of Praying in Mosques Containing Shrines.  Praying in mosques containing shrines of the friends of Allah (s.w.t.) is not only valid and permissible, but reaches the status of recommendation as confirmed by primary evidence from the Qur`an and sunnah, the practice of the companions and the practical consensus of the community.

Imam al-Ghazali (r.a.) wrote in his Ihya’ ‘Ulum ad-Din, after mentioning the hadits, “Do not travel except to three mosques,” “The gist of the matter is that some ‘ulama use it as evidence for prohibiting travel to places of religious visitation and pilgrimage.  It is clear that this is not the case.  On the contrary, visitation to graves is commanded by the hadits, ‘I have forbidden you in the past to visit graves, but now I tell you to visit them.’  The hadits only mentions the prohibition of frequent visitation to other than the three mosques because of the likeness of one mosque to another.  Furthermore, there is no city in which there is no mosque.  Hence, there is no need to travel to another mosque.  As for places of religious visitation, the blessing of visiting them varies to the measure of their rank with Allah.”  This may be found here: A Muslim Convert Once More: The Praiseworthiness of Visiting the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) Grave.

Now, returning to the original article in question, I am not sure how you define ijma’, Sister Peta Stewart, but we understand it to be the agreement of our scholars, a consensus.  And by our scholars, we refer only to those of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama'ah.  There is no agreement with the Wahhabis even on the nature of God.  The only agreement that we would have with people like Bilal Philips as that we each agree that the other side are kafirun and mushrikun.  In the article in question, several mujtahidun are named.  The agreement of several mujtahidun is considered sufficient to be an ijma’ since on the basis of taqlid, the vast majority of scholars will adhere to that position.

In short, it is permissible to visit graves.  It is meritorious to pray for the deceased.  It is meritorious to ask also for their prayers.  It is wajib for us to believe that the pious are physically dead but spiritually alive.  That the Wahhabi sect does not believe this is another reason they are in kufr.  It is a fitnah to consider these acts shirk, and that the Wahhabi sect alleges this is a sign that they are themselves again guilty of another charge of kufr.  It is the position of every madzhab, including the Hanbali.  This is also the position of Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) and his students, Hafizh ibn Katsir (r.a.), Imam adz-Dzahabi (r.a.) and Imam ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (r.a.).  There is no controversy regarding it.  And since it is an ijma’, the onus is not upon us to prove its licitness.

For anyone to say otherwise, then they must produce proof from a recognised source.  Bilal Philips is a kafir, a dog of Shaythan, and a person for the Fire unless he repents.  We do not take our religion from Shaythan.  Show us proof, sister.  Show me something from any imam of the four madzahib al-fiqh that it is otherwise.  Show me something from any of the pious predecessors.  Show me an ayat of the Qur’an with the tafsir from someone of stature such as Imam Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuthi (q.s.).  Show me a hadits from the Shaykhayn with commentary from Imam ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani (q.s.) for Swahih al-Bukhari or Imam an-Nawawi (r.a.) for Swahih Muslim, for example.  If it is shirk, then I want a dalil; just one.

Brother Hamayoon Sultan Qurayshi: These dogs of Shaythan spend so much time asking for evidence that they just are not qualified to understand; it is like a five year old child asking a doctor to prove that they need the antibiotic prescribed, rather than the water mixed with lemon that they themselves think is enough.  It is a debating tactic; and in that is evidence of their complete insincerity in seeking knowledge.  If they were sincere they would take the evidence provided by the learned; but instead they just dismiss the great scholars as heretics and deviants as a tool to further spread their poison through the ummah.  There's a reason why Da’esh, al-Qa’idah, Boko Haram, ash-Shabab, and others are Wahhabis - the theology is poison, it preys on the chronically ignorant, and leads to the problems we see today.

Sister Peta Stewart: Thank you, Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis, but I refuse to follow anything but the teachings of the Prophet (s.a.w.).  Obviously there are many groups of heretics like the Baha’is, who have their own ijma’ in their affairs and make any claim they wish.  As I explained, all of the main a’immah agreed on the concept of the ijma’ as a consensus of the opinions of the swahabah.  And they were tabi’in and taba’ at-tabi’in, and who had more authority in religion after Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) than those nearest to him?


O ye who believe!  Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those charged with authority among you.  If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: that is best, and most suitable for final determination. (Surah an-Nisa’:59)

Neither your opinion nor your teachers’ opinions hold any weight if it the ruling are extracted from outside the sunnah.  The path is clear, may Allah (s.w.t.) Make it easy for us all to follow it.  Amen.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Sister Peta Stewart, I agree with not following heretics.  And the Wahhabis are foremost amongst the heretics.  Also, the definition of ijma’ given is wrong.  That is what people like Bilal would say.  If people like Imam ash-Shafi'i (r.a.) and Imam ibn Hanbal (r.a.) were around, they would denounce Bilal as the kafir he is.  They believed in tawaswswul, for example.  Ijma’ is of several types.  The highest form of ijma’ and the most biding is the ijma’ of the swahabah.  And they celebrated the Mawlid after the time of the Prophet (s.a.w.).  Do the Wahhabis accept that?

There is ijma’ within a makan and a zaman, within a madzhab and upon certain conditions.  It is a valid aswl of fiqh.  The Wahhabi sect does not believe in ijma’.  Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab is on record as rejecting it.  And his people follow him in that: A Muslim Convert Once More: Wahhabi Rejection of Consensus, Ijma’.

This, and many more reasons are why the Wahhabis are not Muslims.  Their shahadah is not worth the saliva and is the testification of liars.  Their fiqh is misleading.  Their ‘aqidah is shirk.  And it is our responsibility to wage jihad against these kafirun and fight them until they say ‘Laa ilaha illa Allah’.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “They [the Khwarij] transferred the Qur’anic verses meant to refer to unbelievers and made them refer to believers.”  He also said, “What I most fear in my community is a man who interprets verses of the Qur’an out of context.”

He described their coming thus: “A people that recite Qur’an will come out of the East, but it will not go past their throats.  They will pass through the religion like the arrow passes through its quarry.  They will no more come back to the religion than the arrow will come back to its course.  Their sign is that they shave [their heads].”

He also said, “There will be in my ummah, dissent and a faction; a people with excellent words and vile deeds.  They will read Qur’an, but their faith does not go past their throats.  They will pass through religion the way an arrow passes through its quarry.  They will no more come back to the religion than the arrow will come back to its original course.  They are the worst of human beings and the worst of all Creation.  The one who kills them or is killed by them is Blessed.  They summon to the book of Allah but they have nothing to do with it.  Whoever kills them is closer to Allah than they.  Their sign is that they shave [their heads].”

He also said, “A people will come out at the end of times, immature, foolish and corrupt.  They will hold the discourse of the best of creation and recite Qur’an, but it will not go past their throats.  They will passes through religion the way an arrow passes through its quarry.  If you find them, kill them, for verily whoever kills them will have his Reward from Allah on the Day of Judgment.”

He also said, “There will be people in my ummah whose mark is that they shave [their heads].  They will recite Qur’an, but it will not go past their throats.  They will pass through religion the way an arrow passes through its target.  They are the worst of human beings and the worst of all Creation.”

And the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “A people that recite the Qur’an will come out of the East, but it will not go past their throats.  Every time a generation of them is cut down another one will come until the last one finds itself on the side of the Antichrist.”

And he also said, “There will be a huge confusion within my ummah.  There will not remain one house of the Arabs except that confusion will enter it.  Those who die because of it are in the Fire.  The harm of the tongue in it will be greater than that of the sword.”

The Wahhabis are people of the Fire, and their religion is the religion of Shaythan, and they are of the people of Dajjal.  There is no Islam there.

Brother Colin Turner: Sister Peta Stewart, you talk a lot about only following the sunnah, but what, for you, constitutes the sunnah?  What is its scope and what are its boundaries?  And what part does human reason play in your understanding of what ‘following the sunnah’ actually means?

Brother Jon Beatty: How does one who follows Qur’an and sunnah only, deal with issues that are not found in the Qur’an or sunnah?

Brother Ahmad Jenkins: Does the Qur’an say that?  If so that would mean television, internet, movies toothbrushes and the paste, bicycles, and such are all haram.  We have to be careful how we use the terms ‘halal’ and ‘haram’.  They are not little things to just throw around.

Brother Hamayoon Sultan Qurayshi: I was taught that unless proven haram, then things are permissible, though not necessarily Islamic.  The Wahhabis operate by the principle of haram unless proven halal, hence their tying themselves in knots over modern amenities and life.

Brother Ahmad Jenkins: That was always my understanding as well, unless it is expressly forbidden at thing is permissible.

Brother Jon Beatty: That is the premise of the fiqh of almost everybody but Wahhabis; that it is permissible until proven otherwise.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Actually, in fiqh al-‘ibadah, everything is haram unless proven otherwise.

Sister Peta Stewart: Yes, Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis.  Masha’Allah, your last statement about fiqh al-‘ibadah is true.  Which is what prevents major acts of shirk like prostrating to idols.  So now that we agree on the principle, we must evaluate the permissibility of worshipping graves by verifying that it has been established from the sunnah otherwise it is haram.  The issue in relation to ibn Baz was that he was being denounced because he made the statement, “I have not made du’a to a grave.”

Brother Jon Beatty: Sister Peta, you do realise that intercession is not worshipping the intercessor, right?  I do not know why Salafis have this idea that it is worshipping graves when that is not what the evidence states.  ibn Baz also stated that anyone who believed the earth was not flat was a heretic so his statements on Diyn are irrelevant.  Unfortunately sister, Bilal Phillips has illustrated on many different occasions that he has no understanding of intercession.

Brother Abdul-Halim Vazquez: Sister Peta Stewart, I think the issue is that the people you are calling grave worshipers do not worship the graves.  It is similar to how Islamophobes accuse Muslims of worshiping a rock.  In both cases there is a misunderstanding of what the intent of the action is.  Nobody is worshiping the grave; they are praying to Allah.

Sister Peta Stewart: Following the principle of all fiqh al-‘ibadah, is haram unless established in the sunnah.  You need to prove that seeking intercession from pious righteous people is from the practice of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and his companions is permissible.  The swahabah were more righteous and worthy of that than anyone else.

Brother Jon Beatty: You do know that the swahabah went to the grave of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and prayed for rain right?  Are you familiar with that hadits?

Sister Peta Stewart: Unfortunately there are many Muslims today who worship graves, make thawaf around them and build high structures over them.  According to the mentioned principle, all of this would be haram.

No, Brother Jon Beatty, I am not aware of that hadits.  Please give me the Arabic text so I can reference it.

Brother Jon Beatty: Sister, show me one Muslim scholar that states it is permissible to worship graves.  You are getting that nonsense from Kitab at-Tawhid.

Sister Peta Stewart: Also tabarruk from the Prophet (s.a.w.) was also established such as when they caught the water from his wudhu’.  But was it an established practice to perform tabarruk from swahabah.  But there are some matters which are specific for the Prophet (s.a.w.) alone, like marrying 9 wives.

Brother Jon Beatty: Nobody worships graves, or does thawaf around them.  And the Wahhabis have yet to show any dalil of any such accusation.  It is slander of the Salaf, and the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah and an attempt to slander the beliefs and established practices of 1,400 years of Muslims.

What does that remark in tabarruk have to do with anything, Sister?  You are bringing in lemons for an apples and oranges debate to prove that grapes are superior; in other words you are not making sense.  If anything was only allowed for the Prophet (s.a.w.), then that was made clear in either the Qur’an or sunnah.  It had to be clear and established that it was not for the general practice of the ummah.

It was narrated on the authority of: Anas (r.a.) that whenever drought threatened them, ‘Umar ibn al-Khaththab (r.a.), used to ask ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.) to invoke Allah (s.w.t.) for rain.  He used to say, “O Allah!  We used to ask our Prophet to invoke You for rain, and You would Bless us with rain, and now we ask his uncle to invoke You for rain.  O Allah!  Bless us with rain.”  And so it would rain.  This is recorded in Swahih al-Bukhari.

Sister Peta Stewart: If no one is worshipping graves, then there is no issue with the statement of ibn Baz.  I do not see how you can call my statements slander while I have not accused any person or group.  Where is the mention of the grave?

Brother Jon Beatty: ibn Baz is not a reliable source.  His questionable statements in terms of belief and disbelief make him a questionable source to quote from in any context and even if he was a good scholar, he is one of thousands; he does not represent a consensus.

You question intercession sister and say it is grave worship.  Intercession is proven from that hadits as an established practice, as well as many others.  I do not think the majority of Muslims would accept this practice if it was upon error.  There is no grave worship, sister.  That is a Wahhabi fantasy used to defame and slander.  You asked if the swahabah indulged in the practice of intercession and I have shown that they did.

Sister Peta Stewart: Additionally, if intercession of the deceased was permissible why did they ask his uncle and not the Prophet (s.a.w.) directly?  Your evidence does not establish anything.

Brother Jon Beatty: Actually, it does, sister.  Why would ‘Umar (r.a.) ask someone else to intercede if it was not permissible?

Brother Abdul-Halim Vazquez: I did not accuse you of slander, Sister Peta.  But you clearly have groups of real-live Muslims in mind and are incorrectly describing what they do.

Brother Jon Beatty: Do you think one of the Rightly-Guided caliphs would allow something like that to happen?

Sister Peta Stewart: Because they were living, and it is permissible to ask the living.

Brother Jon Beatty: Intercession has always been permissible and only one group has denied its permissibility and they have no sanad in terms of knowledge.  So, sister, again who is worshipping graves?  Show me one Muslim who worships a grave, just one.  If you cannot prove your case of worshipping graves then you are indeed slandering.

Brother Abdul-Halim Vazquez: Just as people who accuse Muslims of being idol-worshipers or moon-worshipers are talking about Muslims, even if they understanding of Muslim practice is incorrect.

Sister Peta Stewart: If it were permissible to ask the dead to intercede, ‘Umar (r.a.) would have asked the Prophet (s.a.w.).  This indicates that it is not permissible to ask those who have passed in the barzakh for intercession.

Brother Abdul-Halim Vazquez: Here is a more detailed analysis of the hadits which Brother Jon mentioned: Tawaswswul of ‘Umar (r.a.) through al-‘Abbas (r.a.).  First of all, ‘Umar (r.a.) asked al-‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.), not his son, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.).  What was posted recently on the Hanbali forum is a mistake which I pointed out to the author.

Brother Jon Beatty: Is the Prophet (s.a.w.) dead, sister?

Sister Peta Stewart: He is living, but in another realm, brother.  From this dunya, he has passed away.

Brother Jon Beatty: You said we cannot ask for intercession for the dead and you just said he is not dead.  There are established ahadits in which he can receive our salaam and respond to them.  How can he do that if he is dead?

Sister Peta Stewart: And the evidence is in the action of the swahabah.

Brother Jon Beatty: And the swahabah practiced tawaswswul, sister, and so have the majority of Muslims for 1,400 years.  So again, sister, who is worshipping graves?

Brother Abdul-Halim Vazquez: Here is a nice roundup of arguments on tawaswswul: Tawaswswul & Its Position in Islam.

Brother Jon Beatty: Did you know that Imam an-Nawawi (r.a.) wrote a text that discusses going to the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) grave and seeking wasilah?  Sister, in Swahih Muslim, the Prophet (s.a.w.) swears to seeing Musa (a.s.) praying in his grave.  How do the dead pray, sister?  There is overwhelming tawatur evidence for tawaswswul.

Sister Peta Stewart: The Prophet (s.a.w.) and his companions are where we look for the Sunnah.  May Allah Forgive us and Increase us in guidance.  Amen.

Brother Jon Beatty: Did you know the Prophet (s.a.w.) also went out and prayed at believers graves?  If praying at graves is haram, why did the Prophet (s.a.w.) do it?  I think you misunderstand the progression of Revelation.

Sister Peta Stewart: Again, refer back to your own evidence.  ‘Umar (r.a.) asked the living for intercession.  If Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) were able to benefit, he would have asked him.

Brother Jon Beatty: And yet, the swahabah and Prophet (s.a.w.) disagree with you on this matter, sister.

Sister Peta Stewart: We said praying to graves is the issue.

Brother Jon Beatty: Imam ad-Daraquthni (r.a.), Imam ad-Dulabi (r.a.), Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.), Khathib al-Baghdadi (r.a.), Imam al-‘Uqayli (r.a.), Imam ibn ‘Adi (r.a.), Imam ath-Thabarani (r.a.), and Imam ibn Khuzaymah (r.a.) in his Swahih, all through various chains going back to Shaykh Musa ibn Hilal al-‘Abdi (r.a.) from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (r.a.), both from Imam Nafi` (r.a.).  From ibn ‘Umar (r.a.), we know the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Whoever visits my grave, my intercession will be guaranteed for him.”  Please explain that hadits, sister.  Nobody prays to graves.  You have misunderstood the entire concept of tawaswswul.  Nobody indulges in the practices you talk about.

Sister Peta Stewart: You have shifted the topic.

Brother Jon Beatty: Not at all, sister.  You say we worship graves; you have not provided any evidence.  I have shown you ahadits.  I have shown you evidence from the Salaf, our scholars and still you make claims that we are ‘worshipping’ graves so show me one text, one scholar, even one Muslim who worships a grave or speaks of its permissibility.  If you cannot do that, sister, then you are slandering by even saying this is an issue because I can assure you for the majority of Muslims this is not even a thought.  Only Wahhabis make such claims and I will refrain from discussing any further until you provide a dalil of grave worship including who stated it and in what text because this really is just a waste of everyone’s time.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Sister Peta Stewart, tawaswswul and ziyarat cannot possibly be considered bid’a since there are ahadits on it.  And before you ask me for that dalil, please note it has already been given at the beginning of the thread.  It has already been established also, that it is not shirk.  It is the Wahhabi contention of shirk that starts the fitnah that Muslims are mushrikun when it is the Wahhabi sect themselves, believing that God is an idol, who are the mushrikun.  This is yet another example of Wahhabi hypocrisy.

For further queries, please note that I have been writing and posting a series of articles exposing the deviation of these Wahhabi kafirun.  I even have a special article on the heresiography of al-Albani.  These are people of the Fire unless they repent.  May Allah (s.w.t.) Guide these deviant hypocrites to Islam.

Here is a hadits even that heretic al-Albani accepts and it is an example of wasilah of the Prophet (s.a.w.) from the grave during the caliphate of 'Umar (r.a.): A Muslim Convert Once More: The Prophet's (s.a.w.) Intercession during the Caliphate of ‘Umar (r.a.).

And there is the intercession of the Prophet (s.a.w.) in the Forgiveness of Adam (a.s.): A Muslim Convert Once More: Adam’s (a.s.) Wasilah through the Prophet (s.a.w.).

And there is the famous du’a of the blind man: A Muslim Convert Once More: The Du’a of the Blind Man.


There is more than sufficient proof for the pious Muslims.  Only the people of deviation question the Islam of others based on their doubt.

Brother Hamayoon Sultan Qurayshi: Regarding the worshipping graves, that is a usual Wahhabi strawman based on their own ignorance and insincerity.  As mentioned above, no one worships graves; it is about intercession and for which there is more than enough evidence.

Brother Abdulkareem C Stone: What the heretic calls praying to the grave is what was done at the grave of the Prophet (s.a.w.) since the time he was laid there, requesting his du’a.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) himself sought help from the dead on the night of Mi’raj.  And their help ensured we do not have to pray fifty times a day.

Brother Hamayoon Sultan Qurayshi: And in the above is evidence of the insincerity of the Wahhabi’s; faced with all the evidence that any sincere seeker would require, they just ask for more and more until the faithful stop biting, at which point the heretics declare victory.  It is the standard Wahhabi tactic.

Sister Peta Stewart: Thank you, Brother Abdulkareem C Stone, but a conversation with another prophet is not equivalent to making du’a to the dead and it was a miracle given to Muhammad (s.a.w.).

As for people making du’a to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) in his grave, Brother Hamayoon Sultan Qurayshi, it is not an established practice of all the companions as was clarified by the practice of ‘Umar (r.a.) seeking tawaswswul from his living uncle and not the Prophet (s.a.w.) himself.

Side stepping issues and giving abstract evidence to prove innovative practices is not how our religion is established.  May Allah (s.w.t.) Guide us all to the clear proof and Guide us to what He Loves and to abstain from following our desires.  Amen.

Brother Jon Beatty: So now the majority of scholars, their practices and the established practices of the Salaf and showing evidence of such is innovation?  Are you kidding?  With all respect, sister, if this is what Bilal Phillips is teaching you, find a reliable teacher before it is too late.

Sister Peta Stewart: The methodology that you are giving preference to, Brother Jon Beatty, would imply that even heretical sects such as Baha’ism would be acceptable based on the jumhur of their scholars and practices of those who claim they are the Salaf.  No, we do not accept our religion except from the Prophet (s.a.w.) and his companions, except in matters of clarification of what has already been legislated.  May Allah (s.w.t.) Guide us to the clear path.  Amen.

Brother Jon Beatty: What do you think the legitimate madzahib do, sister?  Make up the rulings as they go along?  Nobody said anything about Baha’is.  They are not even considered in the jama’ah of Islam.  You are not even making an accurate comparison.  You obviously do not understand how scholars reach their rulings because if you did, you would not even make such ridiculous accusations

Brother Hamayoon Sultan Qurayshi: It is clear, Sister Peta Stewart, that either you have not read any of the links posted above or did not do so with an open mind; there is more than enough evidence which was accepted by 1,400 years of scholarship.  Only the ignorance of the Wahhabis and their ilk can dismiss this consensus, and the scholars, to be heresy.  What else can one expect from a theology that is responsible for some of the worst extremes and atrocities of modern times?

Brother Abdulkareem C Stone: The people were gripped by famine during the tenure of ‘Umar (r.a.), then a companion walked up to the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) grave and said, “Ya Rasulullah, please ask Allah for rain for our ummah who is in dire straits.”

Then this companion saw the Prophet (s.a.w.) in a dream who said, “Go to ‘Umar and tell him rain will come and tell him he should be on his toes, he should be on his toes.”

Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) endorsed this as authentic, as well as Hafizh ibn Katsir (r.a.).

Sister Amanda Grace: This sounds all too familiar, almost like a conversation I had with another sister not too long ago - not on intercession, but something else.  Why does it seem like after a while, when you show proofs, it still gets thrown out the window and not even acknowledged?  May Allah (s.w.t.) Guide us all and Open those hearts and minds of others whom are closed, and Shine His Nur in then and Clean out their dark spots, and Lead them to understanding.  Amen.

Brother David Rosser Owen: Reading back through these exchanges, I feel that Sister Stewart would benefit her soul and her Diyn more by going back to Australia and escaping from the hell hole of Wahhabism she is currently inhabiting, and stop listening to deviants like Philips.

Brother Hamayoon Sultan Qurayshi: The truth is an inconvenience to these people and so they prefer to persevere with their straw man arguments.  It shows up their insincerity with the Diyn that they dismiss all evidence for the sake of winning an argument, and dismiss almost all Muslims in the last 1,400 years of having been kafirun.  Not for no reason did Rasulullah (s.a.w.) withhold his du’a for Najd, when the Horn of Shaythan, ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab, was to rise from there.  And of course, we see today the damage being done by this Satanic cult.

Brother Abdul-Halim Vazquez: A saying which often comes to mind in these sorts of discussion: “Don't condemn if you see a person has a dirty glass of water; just show them the clean glass of water that you have.  When they inspect it, you will not have to say that yours is better.”

Sister Peta Stewart, please look at: Tawaswswul and Its Position in Islam.

Brother Abdulkareem C Stone: It you follow the links to the books in Arabic above, you will see it yourself.  For instance, the reference is there for the hadits I gave about the time of the famine when someone went to the grave of the Prophet (s.a.w.).

Brother Abdul-Halim Vazquez: The link does not just mention tawaswswul through living people.  Imam an-Nawawi (r.a.) wrote on tawaswswul in Majmu’ Sharh al-Madzhab, Kitab al-Hajj: “[The pilgrim] should then face the shrine of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.), make him an intermediary, and intercede through him to Allah...”

al-Albani, in at-Tawaswswul, wrote, “Even though some of them have been allowed by some of the a’immah, so for instance Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.) allowed tawaswswul through the Prophet (s.a.w.) alone, and others such as Imam ash-Shawkani (r.a.) allowed tawaswswul through his and through others from the prophets and the righteous.”

Imam ash-Shawkani (r.a.) said, in Tuhfat adz-Dzakirin, “And in this hadits is proof for the permissibility of tawaswswul through the Prophet (s.a.w.) to Allah, with the conviction that the Doer is Allah, and that He is the Giver and the Withholder.  What He Wills is, and what He does not will, will never be.”

Hereunder follows a list of some of the many illustrious ‘ulama of the past who had practised tawaswswul through the rank of the pious, deceased or alive.

Imam Hasan ibn Ibrahim al-Hallal (r.a.) has stated that whenever he had any urgent need, he would go to the grave of Imam Musa ibn Ja’far (r.a.) and make tawaswswul through him.  Allah Ta’ala would Fulfill his need.  This is in Tarikh al-Baghdadi.

Imam ash-Shafi’i (r.a.) would make tawaswswul at the grave of Imam Abu Hanifah (r.a.). This is also in Tarikh al-Baghdadi.  Imam al-Kawtsari (r.a.) classified this incident as authentic in his Maqalat al-Kawtsari.

Sister Peta Stewart: Thank you, Brother Abdul-Halim Vazquez, I appreciate your input, but you still have not given me any hadits from the Prophet (s.a.w.) or consensus of the companions.  It is Allah and His Prophet (s.a.w.) Who Legislate the religion and acts of worship and this is our source for in establishing the permissibility of an act.  Until established, all acts of worship are deemed impermissible.

Brother Abdulkareem C Stone: Sister Peta Stewart, ‘Umar (r.a.) did not forbid the swahabah from asking for help at the grave of the Prophet (s.a.w.) during the famine.  That, therefore, establishes its permissibility.  The Khulafah ar-Rashidin are also considered a legislative body.  This is why, until today, in the Haramayn, twenty raka’at are prayed.  The early generations never forbade requesting du’a from the Prophet (s.a.w.).  It is only with ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab that this strange notion comes, not only prohibiting but actually making an enormous accusation against the ummah that they are all mushrikin.  This gave them licence to raid the sacred places until Allah (s.a.w.) Gave Succour to the ummah through the Egyptian army.  In this day and age, where we can see the resurrection of the like of that fitnah in ISIS, I wonder why people do not see this polluted filth that pours from the mouths of Bilal Philips et al for the tribulation it is.  Saudi Arabia’s state religion is a perversion just as the way they treat their citizens.  I cannot understand how educated women can even listen to a man nurtured in Saudi universities.

You should google search ahadits collections in Arabic.  If you cannot do that, you need to improve your Arabic until you can search Arabic web sites.

Brother Hamayoon Sultan Qurayshi: That was the best choice, Brother Abdulkareem, just point them in the right direction and let them find the evidence themselves, if they are sincere.  Their modus operandi is to just ask for evidence, refuse its validity and ask for more until we finally have enough.  Then they claim victory.  It is arrogance of the worst type.

Yes, Sister Peta Stewart, you have posted about obeying Allah (s.w.t.) and His Beloved (s.a.w.) as a mantra throughout this thread and elsewhere and like all Wahhabis, Quranists, and other heretical sects, ignored every piece of evidence given to you.  But anyway, how is that success to be achieved?

Centuries of scholarship interpreted Qur’an and ahadits in certain, acceptable ways.  Then, the Horn of Shaythan came along and falsely declared 1,200 years of scholarly consensus to be heresy, and therefore almost every Muslim up to then and since, to be heretics.  I prefer to follow the consensus of the learned, rather than an ignorant whose own learned brother declared to be a heretic, in deciding how ultimate success will be achieved.

Brother Abdulkareem C Stone: Sister Peta, the jama’ah means the consensus of the ‘ulama.  This petro-fuelled thugs are in no way to be considered part of the jama’at.  al-Albani had no teachers but was frequently seen in the libraries reading.  It is those deviants that made what is halal haram.  You bring proof from the consensus of the ‘ulama other than the proscribed and despicable Wahhabi sect that making du’a at a grave is shirk.  It is not a matter of halal or haram.  Their accusation is the consensus, the jama’ah is practicing shirk.  If you listen to those deviants, you will fall in considering the vast majority of Muslims mushrikin.

Brother David Rosser Owen: I think I should repeat what I observed earlier in this thread, Sister Peta.  You should go back to Australia, because your Diyn and your akhirah are at risk, living with and absorbing from the Wahhabis.