Imam an-Nawawi and some of his stances

  1. Imam an-Nawawi on Tawassul

Imam an-Nawawi (Rahimuhullah) said:

ثم يرجع إلى موقفه الاول قبالة وجه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ويتوسل به في حق نفسه ويستشفع به إلى ربه سبحانه وتعالى ومن أحسن ما يقول ما حكاه الماوردي والقاضي أبو الطيب وسائر أصحابنا عن العتبي مستحسنين له قال (كنت جالسا عند قبر رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فجاء أعرابي فقال السلام عليك يا رسول الله سمعت الله يقول (ولو أنهم إذ ظلموا أنفسهم جاءوك فاستغفروا الله واستغفر لهم الرسول لوجدوا الله توابا رحيما) وقد جئتك مستغفرا من ذنبي مستشفعا بك إلى ربي

Translation: (The pilgrim) should turn towards the face of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and make him a means for the sake of himself and also seek his intercession (shafa’at) towards reaching God. In this regard “THE BEST OF SAYINGS” is the Hikayat of Imam al-Marwadi (rah) and Qadhi Abu at-Tayb (rah) and “ALL MY OTHER ASHAAB (COMPANIONS) also narrate it by considering it good, the narration of Utbi i.e. A Bedouin who visited the Prophet’s grave and sat beside it said: Peace unto you O Messenger of Allah, I have heard Allah has said:

Had they, when they had wronged themselves, come to you and asked Allah’s forgiveness and the Apostle had asked forgiveness for them, they would certainly have found Allah Most-Propitious, Most-Merciful. (Holy Qur’an 4: 64).

Therefore, I have come to you for forgiveness of my sins and seeking your intercession with Allah. [Imam an-Nawawi in Al-Majmu’, Volume No. 8, Page No. 274]

Comment: There is no shirk invloved in the above mentioned athar as he is not asking the Prophet peace be upon him for help rather asking ALLAH alone. Also He only mentioned the narration of Atbi and did not mention his own words as Majmu is not the book of Adhkaar. Let us see another quote of an-Nawawi where he mentioned How should a person make tawassul at the grave..

Explicit sayings of an-Nawawi.

a) He said regarding the one who visits the grave of Prophet peace be upon him Under the chapter
فصل فى زيارة قبر رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وأذكارها
“Section regarding Visit to the grave of the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him, and the Dhikr made there”

He said under this heading.

وليقلْ‏:‏ اللَّهُمَّ افْتَحْ عَليَّ أبْوَابَ رَحْمَتِكَ وَارْزُقْنِي في زِيارَةِ قَبْرِ نَبِيِّكَ صلى اللّه عليه وسلم ما رزقْتَهُ أوْلِياءَكَ وأهْلَ طَاعَتِكَ واغْفِرْ لي وارْحمنِي يا خَيْرَ مَسْؤُول

One should say,”O Allah, open for me the doors of Your mercy, and bestow upon me, through the visit to the Grave of Your prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), that which You have bestowed upon Your friends, those who obey You. Forgive me and show me mercy, O Best of Those Asked” [Imam Nawawi in Kitab ul Adhkaar, Page No. 261]

Comment: This dhikr at the grave of Rasool Allah peace be upon him is explicit proof that an-Nawawi only allowed tawassul through the righteous deeds as visiting the grave of Prophet peace be upon him is one of the righteous deed as said by Shaykh ul Islaam Imam Ibn Taymiyyah raihmahullah
وإن كان المسافر إلى مسجده يزور قبره صلى الله عليه وسلم، بل هذا من أفضل الأعمال الصالحة
If a traveler goes to Masjid (alNabvi) then he should visit the grave of Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم rather it is from the best of actions. [Majmu’a Fatwaa Ibn Taymiyyah 27/330]

Comment: In short, an-Nawawi only allowed Jaiz type of tawassul which is against the tawassul of brailwiyah.

b) Imam an-Nawawi said

ومن خطر بباله أن المسح باليد ونحوه أبلغ في البركة فهو من جهالته وغفلته؛ ألن البركة إنما هي

!فيما وافق الشرع وأقوال العلماء، وكيف يبتغى الفضل في مخالفة الصواب؟
Whoever thinks that wiping the grave (of the Prophet) with the hand attains barakah, then this is a result of the foolishness and ignorance, because barakah is attained by following shariyah and from the sayings of scholars. How can barakah can be attain by going against shariyah?[Al Eydaah fil Manaasik page 456]

c) Imam an-Nawawi said regarding the athar of Umar ra and Al Abbas ra:
يستحب أن يستسقى بالخيار من أقارب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وبأهل الصلاح من غيرهم ، وبالشيوخ والضعفاء والصبيان والعجائز وغير ذوات الهيئات من النساء ودليله ما ذكره المصنف
It is Mustahab to ask from the pious relative of Prophet peace be upon him and other pious people, The Shuyukh, The Weak ones, The Children, Old Women to ask Allah for rain, the evidence for this is mentioned by the Author. [al Majmoo Sharah al Muhzab 5/73]

These are the clear and explicit statements of Imam an-Nawawi, Brother should quote all the quotes rather than taking one quote of the scholar and challenge people of Sunnah.

d) The great sudent of Imam an-Nawawi in fiqh Qadhi Sadr ud din al Jafri also did al Istesqa through recommended sunnah other than innovative way as Ibn Kathir mentioned:
وفي هذا اليوم نودي بالبلد بصوم الناس لأجل الخروج إلى الاستسقاء، وشرع في قراءة البخاري وتهيأ الناس ودعوا عقيب الصلوات وبعد الخطب، وابتهلوا إلى الله في الاستسقاء، فلما كان يوم السبت منتصف صفر، وكان سابع نيسان، خرج أهل البلد برمتهم إلى عند مسجد القدم، وخرج نائب السلطنة والأمراء مشاة يبكون ويتضرعون. واجتمع الناس هنالك وكان مشهدا عظيما، وخطب بالناس القاضي صدر الدين سليمان الجعفري وأمن الناس على دعائه، فلما أصبح الناس من اليوم الثاني جاءهم الغيث بإذن الله ورحمته ورأفته لا بحولهم ولا بقوتهم، ففرح الناس فرحا شديدا وعم البلاد كلها ولله الحمد والمنة وحده لا شريك له.
This day it was announced in the city that people should fast and come to pray salat al Istesqa and read al Bukhari. The people accepted and supplicated after the sermons and prayers. And invoked to Allah in al Istasqa. When Saturday came on 15th of Safar which was 17th of April, the people of city came to masjid al qadam, Deputy of sultan and leaders also came in submission. People gathered and it was a great sight. Qadhi Sadr ud din bin Sulaiman al Jafri gave sermon and the people said Ameen to his prayers. Next day Allah with his mercy sent rain, not because of their power. People became very happy and it was rained in all the cities All praise and gratitude be to Allah alone with no partner[Al Bidaya wal Nihaya 14/ 112]

Note: Qadhi Sadr ud din al Jafri who prayed was student of Imam an-Nawawi in fiqh [Al Bidaya wal Nihaya 14/142] No one went to the grave of Auliyah, or asked help from dead, neither student of an-Nawawi said we should go to the graves and ask with their waseelah.

e) Imam an-Nawawi said right after quoting the narration of Atbi:
لا يجوز أن يطاف بقبره صلى الله عليه وسلم ويكره إلصاق الظهر والبطن بجدار القبر ، قاله أبو عبيد الله الحليمي وغيره ، قالوا : ويكره مسحه باليد وتقبيله ، بل الأدب أن يبعد منه كما يبعد منه لو حضره في حياته صلى الله عليه وسلم . هذا هو الصواب الذي قاله العلماء وأطبقوا عليه ، ولا يغتر بمخالفة كثيرين من العوام وفعلهم ذلك ، فإن الاقتداء والعمل إنما يكون بالأحاديث الصحيحة وأقوال العلماء ، ولا يلتفت إلى محدثات العوام وغيرهم وجهالاتهم .
‘Circumambulation to the grave of Prophet peace be upon him is not allowed, and it is Disliked to touch the wall of the grave with back and stomach, Abu Obaidullah al Haleemi and others said that, they said: It is disliked to touch it with hands and kissing it, Rather good manners are One should be far from the grave, as he would do if he were in the Prophet’s peace be upon him lifetime. This is the right opinion, as the scholars say Do not be deceived by the practice of the many of the common folks, as the following and practice should be upon AUTHENTIC AHADEETH and the sayings of the scholars, no attention should be paid to the common folks, others and ignorants [Imam an-Nawawi in Al-Majmu’, Volume No. 8, Page No. 275]

Comment: See how they hide the statements of an-Nawawi? OWN stance of Imam an-Nawawi is different from the brailwiyah

f) Shaykh Ala ud din bin al-Ataar who was student of an-Nawawi said in Tohfa tul Talibeen Tarjuma al Imam Muhiyuddin an-Nawawi
فصل في عدم بناء قبه على ضريحه
لما توفى رضي الله عنه أراد أهله وأقاربه وجيرانه أن يبنرا على ضريحه قبة وأجمعوا على ذلك، إذ جاء -رضي الله عنه- إلى أكبر امرأة من قرابته في النوم أظنها عمته، وقال لها قولي: لأخي والجماعة لا يفعلوا هذا الذي قد عزموا عليه من البنيان فإم كلما بنوا أشياء دمت عليهم، فانتبهت مزعجة فقصت عليهم الرؤيا لا فامتنعوا عن البنيان، وحوطوا على قبره بحجارة تمنع الدواب وغيرها.
وقال لي جماعة من أقاربه وأصحابه بنوي إم ساءلوه يوماً أن لا ينساهم في عرصات القيامة فقال لهم: إن كان ثم جاه والله لا دخلت الجنة وواحداً ممن أعرفه ورائي ولا أدخلها إلا بعدهم فرحمه الله ورضى عنه. لقد جمعت هذه الحكاية من الأدب مع الله عز وجل ومن الكرم مالا يخفى على متأمل فطن.

Shortly it states When he (an-Nawawi) passed away may Allah be pleased with him his family, relatives, and neaighbors intended to build a dome over his grave, and they all agreed on that. He -may Allah be pleased with him- came in a dream to the oldest women of his relatives, I think it was his aunt, and he said to her, “say to my brother and the group that don’t do this which you intend to make structure. So everytime they built something [over his grave] it got ruined(end quote)

g) He also wrote a book أحكام الموتى وغسلهم [see Al-Ailaam az-Zarkali 4/251] This book is also known as مجلس في زيارة القبور، وأحكام المقبول منها والمحذور, He said in it

هذه الأحاديث من فعله صلى الله عليه وسلم وأمره وتعليله دالة على زيارة قبر المفضول, فكيف بزيارة قبر الفاضل, فكيف بزيارة قبره صلى الله عليه وسلم, لكن للاعتبار والتذكار, لا للتآله والإكبار ولهذا قال: “لا تجعلوا قبرى وثنا” و “لا تجعلو قبري عيدا”
These ahadeeth, The practice of Prophet peace be upon him, his order and explaination are evidence of visiting the grave of the minor, then what about the visiting the grave of the righteous and visiting the grave of Prophet peace be upon him? But this (visiting) is for respect and remembering, not for worshipping and Magnificence , Therefore He (peace be upon him) said:”Do not make my grave an idol” and “Do not take my grave as a place of festivity” [Ziyarat al Qaboor by Imam Ala al-din bin Attar page 18, taken from Hadam al Manarah by Amr Abdul Munim Saleem page 89]

Comment: The students of an-Nawawi also wrote same which they heard from their teacher and there is no innovative type of tawassul in their statements.

2. Imam An-Nawawi on the reason due to which Prophet peace be upon him forbade building mosques over the graves.

He said:

قال العلماء : إنما نهى النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – عن اتخاذ قبره وقبر غيره مسجدا خوفا من المبالغة في تعظيمه والافتتان به ، فربما أدى ذلك إلى الكفر كما جرى لكثير من الأمم الخالية . ولما احتاجت الصحابة – رضوان الله عليهم أجمعين – والتابعون إلى الزيادة في مسجد رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – حين كثر المسلمون وامتدت الزيادة إلى أن دخلت بيوت أمهات المؤمنين فيه ، ومنها حجرة عائشة – رضي الله عنها – مدفن رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – وصاحبيه أبي بكر وعمر – رضي الله عنهما – بنوا على القبر حيطانامرتفعة مستديرة حوله لئلا يظهر في المسجد ، فيصلي إليه العوام ويؤدي المحذور ، ثم بنوا جدارين من ركني القبر الشماليين ، وحرفوهما حتى التقيا حتى لا يتمكن أحد من استقبال القبر ، ولهذا قال في الحديث : لولا ذلك لأبرز قبره ، غير أنه خشي أن يتخذ مسجدا . والله تعالى أعلم بالصواب

The scholars said: The reason due to which Prophet peace be upon him forbade to build a mosque over his grave and others was due to the fear of extremism in veneration of grave, which will create fitna and sometimes it leads to disbelief as happened to many of the previous nations..

When It was necessary for companions to expand the mosque because Muslims were increasing. And it reached to the houses of ummuhaat Al momineen which includes the room of Aisha where the Prophet peace be upon him and his two companions Abu Bakr and Umar are buried. They made a chubutarah around the graves which could be seen from mosque. Then common folks started praying towards it and it happened which was forbidden. Then they (companions and tabiyeen) made two walls in front of the graves.. until it was not possible to come in front of the graves. That’s why it is mentioned in the Hadith (of Aisha) that

“And if that had not been the case, then the Prophet’s grave would have been made prominent before the people”. (End quote, roughly translated)

3. Neglecting prayer out of laziness is Kufr al Akbar or not

Imam an-Nawawi said
وإن كان تركه تكاسلا مع اعتقاده وجوبها كما هو حال كثير من الناس فقد اختلف العلماء فيه ، فذهب مالك والشافعي رحمهما الله والجماهير من السلف والخلف إلى أنه لا يكفر بل يفسق ويستتاب فإن تاب وإلا قتلناه حدا كالزاني المحصن ، ولكنه يقتل بالسيف . وذهب جماعة من السلف إلى أنه يكفر وهو مروي عن علي بن أبي طالب كرم الله وجهه وهو إحدى الروايتين عن أحمد بن حنبل – رحمه الله – . وبه قال عبد الله بن المبارك وإسحاق بن راهويه . وهو وجه لبعض أصحاب الشافعي رضوان الله عليه . وذهب أبو حنيفة وجماعة من أهل الكوفة والمزني صاحب الشافعي رحمهما الله أنه لا يكفر ، ولا يقتل ، بل يعزر ويحبس حتى يصلي واحتج من قال بكفره بظاهر الحديث الثاني المذكور ، وبالقياس على كلمة التوحيد . واحتج من قال لا يقتل بحديث لا يحل دم امرئ مسلم إلا بإحدى ثلاث وليس فيه الصلاة . واحتج الجمهور على أنه لا يكفر بقوله تعالى : إن الله لا يغفر أن يشرك به ويغفر ما دون ذلك لمن يشاء وبقوله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – : من قال لا إله إلا الله دخل الجنة ومن مات وهو يعلم أن لا إله إلا الله دخل الجنة ولا يلقى الله تعالى عبد بهما غير شاك فيحجب عن الجنة . حرم الله على النار من قال لا إله إلا الله وغير ذلك .
If he does not pray because he is lazy, although he believes that it is obligatory – as is the case with many people – then the scholars differed concerning him. Maalik and ash-Shfa’i (may Allah have mercy on them) and the majority of the earlier and later scholars were of the view that he is not a disbeliever; rather he is a sinner who should be asked to repent. If he repents, all well and good; otherwise, he is to be executed as a hadd punishment, like the married adulterer, except that he should be killed by the sword. On the other hand, a number of the earlier generations were of the view that he is a disbeliever. This was narrated from ‘Ali ibn Abi Tatlib and is mentioned in one of the two reports from Ahmad ibn Hanbal (may Allah have mercy on him). It was also the view of Abdullah ibn alMubarak, Ishaq ihn Raahwayh and some of the followers of ashShafa’i.

Abu Haneefah and a number of the people of Kufah, as well as al-Muzani, the companion of ashShafa’i, were of the view that he is not a disbeliever and is not to be executed; rather he should he given a disciplinary punishment and imprisoned until he start to pray.
And the one who opted for his kufr he acted on apparent meaning of the second hadith mentioned (i.e. hadith of Jabir ra) and qiyas on Kalimah tul tawheed.
And those who say he will not be killed take evidence from the hadeeth which states it is not halal to kill Muslim apart from three things, and salah is not mentioned in that hadith.
The Majority of he scholars who say he has not done kufr take evidence from the verse “Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills.”
and from the hadith
“Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said. He who recites There is no god but Allah will enter Paradise, he who died knowing (fully well) that there is no god but Allah entered Paradise.”
and “without entertaining any doubt about these (two fundamentals),and will not be banished from entering Jannah.”
and “Allah prohibited the fire on him who recites There is no god but Allah” and other ahadith like these.
[Sharah Sahih Muslim Kitab al Eeman under the hadith of Jabir ra]

4. The command to show leniency

an-Nawawi commented
وفي هذا الحديث : الأمر بالتبشير بفضل الله وعظيم ثوابه وجزيل عطائه وسعة رحمته ، والنهي عن التنفير بذكر التخويف وأنواع الوعيد محضة من غير ضمها إلى التبشير .
وفيه تأليف من قرب إسلامه وترك التشديد عليهم ، وكذلك من قارب البلوغ من الصبيان ، ومن بلغ ومن تاب من المعاصي كلهم يتلطف بهم ويدرجون في أنواع الطاعة قليلا قليلا ، وقد كانت أمور الإسلام في التكليف على التدريج فمتى يسر على الداخل في الطاعة أو المريد للدخول فيها سهلت عليه ، وكانت عاقبته غالبا التزايد منها ، ومتى عسرت عليه أوشك أن لا يدخل فيها ، وإن دخل أوشك أن لا يدوم أو لا يستحليها .
In short he says In this hadith there is an order of telling the fadhl of Allah, HIS great reward and Mercy, and prohibition of telling ONLY regarding fear, the punishment.
Same way leniency should be shown to youngsters and it should be mentioned tawbah clears all the sins [Sharah Sahih Muslim an-Nawawi, Kitab al Jihad under the chapter The command to show leniency and avoid causing aversion]

5. Letting the garments hang below the ankle

Imam Nawawi said regarding those ahadith in which the warning is mentioned without pride.

كَمَا جَاءَ مُفَسَّرًا فِي الْحَدِيثِ الْآخَرِ لَا يَنْظُرُ اللَّهُ إِلَى مَنْ يَجُرُّ ثَوْبَهُ خُيَلَاءَ وَالْخُيَلَاءُ الْكِبْرُ وَهَذَا التَّقْيِيدُ بِالْجَرِّ خُيَلَاءَ يُخَصِّصُ عُمُومَ الْمُسْبِلِ إِزَارَهُ وَيَدُلُّ عَلَى أَنَّ الْمُرَادَ بِالْوَعِيدِ مَنْ جَرَّهُ خُيَلَاءَ وَقَدْ رَخَّصَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي ذَلِكَ لِأَبِي بَكْرٍ الصِّدِّيقِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ وَقَالَ لَسْتَ مِنْهُمْ إِذْ كَانَ جَرُّهُ لِغَيْرِ الْخُيَلَاءِ
As it is mentioned in other Mufassir hadith that “Allah will not look on the Day of Judgment at him who lets his garment drag on the ground out of pride and arrogance.” This hadeeth clears the other general hadith in which there is warning for the one who lets his garments below the ankle generally. This is evidence that whoever does this out of pride he comes under this warning and Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave consession to Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) that: “You are not one of them. i.e., those who let the garment hang down out of pride. [Sharah Saheeh Muslim 2/116]