Imam Ahmad Hanbali Madhab and Kissing Grave of Prophet

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Some of the sufis try to prove their shirk i.e Asking help from Prophet peace be upon him from a narration attributed to Imam Ahmad on kissing graves, they quote from Imam Ad-Dahabee that he mentioned

عن ابن عمر: أنه كان يكره مس قبر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم. قلت : كره ذلك لأنه رآه إساءة أدب . وقد سئل أحمد بن حنبل عن مس القبر النبوي وتقبيله فلم ير بذلك بأسا ، ورواه عنه ولده عبد الله بن أحمد

Ibn Umar used to dislike touching the grave of Prophet (Peace be upon him). I (ad-Dahabee) say: He disliked it "BECAUSE HE FOUND IT AGAINST ADAB" Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal (rah) was asked about "TOUCHING AND KISSING THE GRAVE OF PROPHET" he said "I DO NOT SEE ANY HARM IN IT" This is narrated by his son Abdullah bin Ahmed [Al-Dhahabi, Mu'jam al-Shuyukh (1:73 #58).]

Response:

First of all this narration is not accepted by Hanbalis and Imam Ahmad himself said against this.

Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani said regarding this narration
واستبعد بعض اتباعه صحة ذلك
Some of those who follow him ruled out the authenticity of this narration. [Fathul Bari 3/475 ]

az-Zarqani said:
 واستبعد بعض أتباعه صحة ذلك عنه . 
Some of those who follow him ruled out the authenticity of this narration from him [Sharah az-Zarqani of alMawatta Kitab al Hajj باب تقبيل الركن الأسود في الاستلام]

Secondly It has nothing to do with asking help from Prophet Peace be upon him, Kissing grave is not shirk but it is against Islamic Law, If some one is kissing the grave plus asking his needs then it becomes shirk, Before dealing with the narration of Imam Ahmad allowing Kissing grave, let me deal with Asking direclty from Prophet peace be upon him.

Imam ad-Dahabee himself said regarding Sayyeda Nafeesa ra and deviant creed of people regarding her
ولجهلة المصريين فيها اعتقاد يتجاوز الوصف، ولايجوز مما فيه من الشرك، ويسجدون لها، ويلتمسون منها المغفرة

"And the ignorant among the Egyptians have belief in her which is beyond description, and it is impermissible (to hold such belief) because of the Shirk that is in it, and they prostrate to her grave and seeking isthighfar from her and like that of idol worshipers.[Seyar Ailam Nubala 10/106]

Ibn e Rajab Hanbali said
وَكَانَ الْإِمَامُ أَحْمَدُ يَدْعُو وَيَقُولُ: اللَّهُمَّ كَمَا صُنْتَ وَجْهِي عَنِ السُّجُودِ لِغَيْرِكَ فَصُنْهُ عَنِ الْمَسْأَلَةِ لِغَيْرِكَ، وَلَا يَقْدِرُ عَلَى كَشْفِ الضُّرِّ وَجَلْبِ النَّفْعِ سِوَاهُ
Imam ahmad was making a du'a " Ya Allah! Just as you have prevented my face from falling down from prostrating to somebody other than You, prevent me from asking from others than You."[Jamiul Ulum wal Hikam, 1/280,281]

Ibne Rajab said
وجاء إليه رجل فمسح يده ثيابه ومسح بهما وجهه ، فغضب الإمام أحمد وأنكر ذلك أشد الإنكار وقال : عمن أخذتم هذا الأمر ؟
A man came to him(Imam Ahmad) and he wiped his hands on his clothes, And wiped his face, Imam Ahmad became angry and denied that of the most denial and said: from whom you have learnt this?[ الحكم الجديرة بالإذاعة. Page 46 and 47]

Imam Ibn Mufleh quoted above narration from Khallal in his Adaab ash-Shariya 3/265 the Fasal: 

إنكار أحمد للتبرك به وتواضعه وثناؤه على معروف الكرخي
Imam Ahmad Rejected taking Tabarruk from him and his humbleness and his praises for Maruf al Karkhi

The words are:


روى الخلال في أخلاق أحمد عن علي بن عبد الصمد الطيالسي قال مسحت يدي على أحمد بن حنبل ثم مسحت يدي على بدني وهو ينظر فغضب غضبا شديدا وجعل ينفض يده ويقول عمن أخذتم هذا ؟ وأنكره إنكارا شديدا .
Narrated by al-Khallal in "Ikhlaaq of Ahmad" from Ali bin Abd as-Samad at-Tiyalisi He said: I wiped my hand over Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal and then i wiped it over my body. He saw this and became very angry and said from whom you have taken this? He rejected it strongly.

Comment: After reading these statements no one can even think that Imam Ahmad and ad-Dahabee allowed asking from the pious people in graves. Let us deal with the narration mentioned by Imam ad-Dahabee

First of all Companions of Prophet Peace be upon him used to dislike the practice of touching grave of Prophet Peace be upon him as this is against the Adab.

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو أُسَامَةَ ، عَنْ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ ، عَنْ نَافِعٍ ، " أَنَّ ابْنَ عُمَرَ كَانَ يَكْرَهُ مَسَّ قَبْرِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ " .

Ibn Umar used to dislike touching of the grave of the Prophet peace be upon him. [Juzz Muhammad bin Asim al Thaqafi as-Subhani no: 28, Abul Hassan Ali ibn Umar al Qazweeni in his Amaleeh and Al Hafiz Al Dhahabi. Sheikh Shu'ayb Al Arna'ut said "its men are trustworthy" (Sayr A'laam Al Nublaa',12/373]

Comment: So it was the practice of Companions not to touch the grave of Prophet, let us see what is the opinion of Imam Ahmad and the Hanbali Madhab on this issue.

Qadhi Abu Yala quoted

أن أحمد قال لما سأله أبو بكر الأثرم عن التمسح بالقبر: ما أعرف هذا ، قلت: فالمنبر؟ قال:نعم.

وقال الأثرم أيضاً: وقلت لأبي عبدالله: إنهم يلصقون بطونهم بجدار القبر وقلتُ له: ورأيت أهل العلم من المدينة لا يمسونه ويقومون من ناحيته فيسلمون. فقال أبو عبدالله: نعم هكذا كان ابن عمر يفعل.
"Abu Bakr al-Athram relates: I said to Ahmad can the Prophet's grave, peace be upon him, be touched?He replied: 'I do not know this.' I then asked him: What about the pulpit? He replied: 'As for the pulpit, then yes.'Al-Athram said: I said to Abu Abdullah (Ahmad bin humble)... I have seen people of knowledge from Madeena, they would not touch the grave. They would simply stand to the side and send Salam.Abu Abdullah (Ahmad bin Humble) said Yes This is also the practice of Ibn 'Umar"

[Al Masail al Faqeeh min Kitab Riwayatain wal wajhayn page 215, Ibne Abdul Hadi in Sarim al Manki page 133, Al Mughni, 559/3, Al Furoo', 573/2 and Wafa Al Wafaa', 1403/4.]

After quoting this Qadhi Abu Yala (380 h to 458 h) said
وهذه الرواية تدل على أنه ليس بسنة وضع اليد على القبر
And this narration shows that it is not sunnah to place the hands on the grave[Al Masail al Faqeeh min Kitab Riwayatain wal wajhayn page 215]

Note: same is said by Imam Maalik, Qaadi Iyaad said

و قال في المبسوط : لا أرى أن يقف عند قبر النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم يدعو و لكن يسلم و يمضي
In Al Mabsut He (Imam Malik) said: I do not hold the view that, people should stand at the grave of the Prophet, but should greet and then depart. [ash-Shifa (2/71)]

How Imam Maalik and Imam Ahmad are clearing their stance that a person should greet, not that he should ask help from Prophet peace be upon him.

Ibn Qudama Hanbali said
" ولا يستحب التمسح بحائط قبر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ولا تقبيله قال أحمد : ما أعرف هذا . قال ابن الأثرم : رأيت أهل العلم من أهل المدينة لا يمسون قبر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم, يقومون من ناحية فيسلمون "
It is not recomended to touch the wall of the grave of Prophet peace be upon him nor kiss it. Ahmad said 'I do not know this. ibn Al-Athram said: I have seen The people of knowledge from Madeena, they would not touch the grave. They would simply stand to the side and send Salam[See also Kashaf al Qina 2/139]

It is also mentioned in Kashaf al Qina
ويكره تقبيله والطوافبه لأن ذلك كله من البدع
And it is disliked to kiss it and doing tawaf of it, Because all this is innovation[2/140,141]

Imam Ibn Qudama Hanbali said
ولأن تخصيص القبور بالصلاة عندها يشبه تعظيم الأصنام بالسجود لها ، والتقرب إليها ، وقد روينا أن ابتداء عبادة الأصنام تعظيم الأموات ، باتخاذ صورهم ، ومسحها ، والصلاة عندها .

The special treatment of graves by means of praying by them is similar to the veneration of idols by prostrating oneself before them and wishing to draw near to them. And it is narrated that idol worship began initially by praising the dead by taking their pictures and wiping them and praying over them.[Al Mughni, Kitab al-Janaiz Vol 2 page 193] 

Al Mardaawi hanbali concluded,
لا يستحب تمسحه بقبره عليه أفضل الصلاة والسلام على الصحيح من المذهب قال في المستوعب : بل يكره قال الإمام أحمد : أهل العلم كانوا لا يمسونه نقل أبو الحارث : يدنو منه ولا يتمسح به ،
It is not recommended to wipe the graves and this is the correct opinion of this(Hanbali) madhab, He said: in al Mantu`ab: Rather it is disliked, Imam Ahmad said: People of knowledge would not touch it, Abu al Harith mentioned, approach him and do not touch. [Al Insaaf, 4/53]

Abdul Qadir Jelani Hanbali said
اذا زار قبرا لا يضع يده عليه و لا يقبله فانه عادة اليهود و لا يقعد عليه و لا يكتى عليه
"When you visit the graves then do not put your hands on them or kiss them as this is the habit of the jews, nor sit on the graves or rest against them. " (al-Ghuniyyah (1/91).

Scan: http://lh4.ggpht.com/_Y3h6JhqU8O4/TFbFeeG0GvI/AAAAAAAAAMo/-HZvP4VmhIE/s400/untitled.JPG

Ibn Aqil Hanbali said
لا يخلق القبور بالخلوق , والتزويق والتقبيل لها والطواف بها , والتوسل بهم إلى الله
Graves are not made for kissing and decorating and roaming around and making them tawassul before ALLAH. [Ibn e Muflih quoted al furoo 2/272]

Ibn al Jawzi said that
قال ابن عقيل: لما التكاليف على الجهال والضغام عدلوا عن أوضاع الشرع إلى تعظيم أوضاع وضعوها لأنفسهم فسهلت عليهم إذ لم يدخلوا بها تحت أمر غيرهم قال وهم كفار عندي بهذه الأوضاع مثل تعظيم القبور وإكرامها بما نهى الشرع عنه من إيقاد النيران وتقبيلها وتخليفها وخطاب الموتى بالألواح وكتب الرقاع فيها يا مولاي افعل بي كذا وكذا وأخذ التراب تبركا وإفاضة الطيب على القبور وشد الرحال إليها وإلقاء الخرق على الشجر اقتداء بمن عبد اللات والعزى

"Ibn Aqil said: "When these obligations were hard on the ignorant and rabble ones, they diverted themselves from the positions of Shari'a to revere positions which they laid down for themselves, so it felt easy to them as they will not be regulated by the order of anyone except themselves." He added: "To me, they are kafir (infidels) due to these positions; like revering the graves and paying respect to them with things which are forbidden by Shari'a like burning fire, kissing the graves, roaming around them, addressing the dead with sheets (of requests) and notes on patches which say like this: "O My Master do such and such for me", and taking the soil for getting blessing, pouring perfume on the graves, undertaking journey to visit them, hanging shreds with trees, as imitation to those who worship Lat and Uzza[Talbees Iblees of ibn e jozi تلبيس إبليس/الباب الثاني عشر chapter تلبيس إبليس على جمهور العوام]

Imam Mur`ee bin Yusaf Hanbali (d 1033) said:

ولا يتمسح بالقبر ولا يقبله بل يسلم عليه بأدب وسكون
Do not touch the grave, do not kiss it, rather say salam with adab. [Shifa as-Sudur fe ziyarah Mashahid wal qaboor page 160]

Lastly, Imam Ahmad was asked:
يؤجر الرجل على بغض أصحاب أبي حنيفة؟
قال: إي والله.
Will a person get reward of having Bughz from Ashaab of Abu Hanifa?

He (Ahmad) said: By Allah yes. [Masail Imam Ahmad wal Ishaq ba Riwayah al Kawsaj no. 3441] 
 
Now because this fatwa is against extreme Hanafis that is why they will reject this fatwa and try to make taweel of it. But when it comes to kissing the graves they use the fatwa of Imam Ahmad wrongly?

Dr Suleman bin Abdullah al Umair said regarding the quote of Imam Ahmad on Ashaab of Abi Hnaifa:

(3441- نقل هذه المسألة ابن حامد في تهذيب الأجوبة: 205. ونقلها ابن القيم في إعلام الموقعين: 4/166 ولم ينسبها نقلاً عن كتاب الشريف أبي علي الهاشمي في المسائل التي حلف عليها أحمد، وفيه: " من خالف حديث رسول الله - صلى الله عليه وسلم –" بدل:" أصحاب أبي حنيفة".
ونقلها ابن أبي يعلى في جزئه في المسائل التي حلف عليها أحمد: 25 لكن ذكر المحقق أن محلها بياض في النسخة الخطية، وأنه استدركها من إعلام الموقعين.
ونقلها بنصها ابن حامد في تهذيب الأجوبة: 205 عن المرُّوذي.
من المؤكد هنا أنه ليس المراد بأصحاب أبي حنيفة تلاميذه الآخذين عنه، كأبي يوسف ومحمد بن الحسن وغيرهما ممن اشتهر بالعلم والفقه وسلامة المعتقد، فلعل المقصود - والله أعلم - من أغرق في الرأي من الحنفية، وتعمد مخالفة الحديث، كما تدل عليه صيغة الرواية في إعلام الموقعين. أو لعل المراد من ظهر منه ميل إلى التجهم والاعتزال. وهذا في الحنفية أكثر منه في غيرهم. والله أعلم.)
In short it states that This is mentioned by Ibn al Qaayim in Ailaam al Moqieen and the words are "will a person get thawab for having bughz against those who are going against the hadith of Prophet peace be upon him"

Ibn Haamid quoted in Tahdeeb al Ajuba with the words "Bughz against Ashaab Abi Hanifa"

This statement does not mean the students of Abu Hanifa like Abu Yusaf and Muhammad bin Hasan etc who were known for knowledge, Aqeeda and fiqh. Rather this quote is regarding those ahnaaf who are extremists in Raaye and those who willingly went against the ahadeeth as it is clear from the statement in Ailaam al Moqieen, or This statement is regarding those ahnaaf who are Mutazilees and Jahmis. [Haashiya Masail Imam Ahmad wal Ishaq ba Riwayah al Kawsaj no. 3441]
 
Conclusion:

1. Directly asking help from the people in graves is shirk by saying O so and so Help me,Aid me
2. Kissing grave of Prophet peace be upon him was disliked by Companions of Prophet peace be upon him
3. Kissing grave of Prophet peace be upon him is not allowed according to Hanbali madhab and from the most correct narration from Imam Ahmad as Jurists of Hanbali Madhab said i.e Mardawi,Ibn Qudamah, Qadhi Abu Yala etc.

Related link:

a) Innovative Tawassul Refutation Series (Athar of Abu Ayub Al Ansaree RA kissing the grave is weak)

http://www.systemoflife.com/articles/tawassul/176-tawassul-refutation-series-athar-of-abu-ayyub-al-ansaree-rs

b) Detailed Discussion On the Issue of Tabarruk

http://www.ahlalhdeeth.com/vbe/showthread.php?p=612

↓↓↓Prophet(saw) said: Convey (knowledge) from me even if it is just one ayah[Bukhari 3461]. Share↓↓↓

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