The Wahhabis reckon tabarruk (seeking benediction) towards the traces of awliya to be polytheism and label the one who kisses the altar and pulpit of the Holy Prophet (s) as polytheist even though in doing that he doesn’t believe in any kind of godliness in it. Rather, love and affection to the Holy Prophet (s) becomes the cause of kissing the signs and traces related to him. Here we ask, what have they to say about the shirt of Yusuf (a')?
اذْهَبُوا بِقَمِيصِي هَٰذَا فَأَلْقُوهُ عَلَىٰ وَجْهِ أَبِي يَأْتِ بَصِيرًا
Yusuf ('a) says: ‘Take my shirt and cast it over my father's face so that he regains his eye-sight. (Yusuf 12:93)”
Ya'qub ('a) too kept the shirt of Yusuf over his eyes and at that same moment realized that he could see. As he says:
فَلَمَّا أَنْ جَاءَ الْبَشِيرُ أَلْقَاهُ عَلَىٰ وَجْهِهِ فَارْتَدَّ بَصِيرًا
“So when the bearer of good news came he cast it on his face, so forthwith he regained his sight.” (Yusuf 12:96)”
If Ya'qub ('a) would have done such a thing in front of the Najdis and followers of Muhammad bin 'Abd al-Wahhab, how would have they behaved with him? Now would they explain the action of an immaculate Prophet who is free from sins and mistakes!?
Now if the Muslims keep the soil of the grave of the last of the Prophets or his shrine over their eyes and kiss out of respect, the grave and shrine of the divine leaders or seek tabarruk and say that God has exerted some effect in this soil and wishes to follow the Ya'qub ('a) of today in so and so affair then why should they be subjected to curse and be accused of heresy.1
Those who are aware of the life history of the Holy Prophet (s) know that the companions of the Holy Prophet (s) were always taking precedence to each other in doing tabarruk to the water of his wudhu (ablution). It is sufficient in this case, to briefly refer to Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim which are thought to be the most authentic among the six Sihah. Here, we mention some of them:
(1) About the event of ‘Peace of Hudaybiyya’ Bukhari writes:
“Whenever the Holy Prophet (s) was taking ablution, his companions use to take precedence to each other in collecting the drops of water of his ablution.”2
(2) In the chapter of ‘Last of the Prophets’, Bukhari narrates from Sa'ib bin Yazid that: “My aunt took me to the Holy Prophet (s) and informed him about my illness. The Holy Prophet (s) made ablution and asked Allah for blessings for me and I drank from the water of his ablution.”3
(3) In the chapter of ‘The characteristics of the Prophet’, Bukhari narrates from Wahab bin 'Abdullah that: “People were rubbing the hands of the Holy Prophet (s) over their faces and I too took the hands of the Prophet and rubbed them over my face and his hands were more fragrant than musk.”4
(4) In the chapter of ‘The characteristics of the Prophet', Bukhari narrates:
The Holy Prophet (s) was in ‘Abtah’ standing beside the tents. Bilal came out from a tent and called the people for prayers. Again he went inside and brought out the remaining drops of water of ablution of the Holy Prophet (s). The people rushed towards it and sought tabarruk from it.5
(5) Muslim narrates in his Sahih from Anas that: “When the Holy Prophet (s) was shaving his head his companions were besides him and each one of them held one string of his hair in their hands.6
These were some examples of affection of the companions and their tabarruk to the signs and traces of the Holy Prophet (s) and collecting these incidents necessitates the writing of one separate book.
By referring to the last chapter of Sahih Bukhari about jihad and also the chapter related to the armour, stick, sword, vessels, seal, ring, hair and shroud of the Holy Prophet (s) one can become aware of the evident examples of tabarruk.
These traditions expose and explain the baseless nature of the culture of the Wahhabism that prevents the people from seeking tabarruk to the holy shrine of Prophet (s) and have employed special groups of persons to beat physically and use foul language with those who seek tabarruk to the holy shrine of the Holy Prophet (s). They thus stop the Muslims from expressing such love and affection which had been in practice during the period of the Holy Prophet (s) in his very presence.
The matter of prevention of tabarruk to the traces of the Holy Prophet (s) and kissing of his shrine and pulpit is one of the greatest ideological expressions of the Wahhabism. The Wahhabi Government of Saudi Arabia under the garb of ‘amr bi al-ma'ruf (enjoining the good) and nahi 'an al-munkar (forbidding the evil) have stationed their agents around the holy shrine in order to prevent the pilgrims from performing such action and they too behave harshly and mercilessly with the pilgrims. Many times at such occasions innocent blood is shed and many persons’ honour and prestige got damaged. The root cause of their belief is that kissing and honouring the shrine amounts to worshipping the one in grave, as if ‘every respect is worship.’
Since these helpless people who are far from the reality of Islamic teachings are unable to interpret 'ibada (worship) in the logical sense, they have become puzzled and confused and take every type of respect to the dead to be an 'ibada. In the next chapter, we shall draw a precise limit and boundary for 'ibada, but what is important now is to know what was the practice of the Muslims in this matter:
(1) After the Holy prophet's burial, his daughter Fatima (‘a) stood near his grave and then taking some soil from the grave she put it over her face. She later cried and recited these two poems:
ماذا على من شَّم تُربة احمدا أن لا يشُم مدى الزمان غواليا
صُبَّت علىَّ مصائب لو أنها صُبت على الأيام صرن لياليا
“What happens to the one who smells the soil of grave of Ahmad, who till he is alive, shall smell no more the expensive musks.”
صُبَّت علىَّ مصائب لو أنها صُبت على الأيام صرن لياليا
“I was faced with such calamities that if it had befallen on the bright day it would have changed to night.”7
(2) The great companion Bilal who left Medina for some reason and settled by order of the frontier guards, in the districts of Syria saw in his dream that the Holy Prophet (s) was saying:
“What kind of injustice is this, O Bilal? Has not the time come that you visit us!? He woke up from his sleep in sadness and sat on his horse and left for Medina. When he reached the grave of the Holy Prophet (s) he started to cry and rubbed his face over it. Later he saw al-Hasan and al-Husayn and kissed both of them.8
(3) Amir al-mu'minin 'Ali ('a) says: “Three days had lapsed from the burial of the Holy Prophet (s) when a Bedouin Arab came and threw himself over the grave of the Holy Prophet (s). He sprinkled the soil of his grave over his head and started to converse with the Holy Prophet (s). He said: ‘O Prophet of Allah, you spoke and we listened. You received the truth from Allah and we too received it from you. From the things which Allah revealed to you is this:
ولو أنهم إذ ظلموا أنفسهم
I have done injustice upon myself. So seek forgiveness for me from Allah. Suddenly he heard a voice saying: Your sins have been forgiven.”
This incident has been narrated by most of the historians mainly al-Samhudi in Wafa' al-wafa', vol. 2 page 612 and Shaykh Dawud al-Khalidi (died in 1299 AH) in Sulh al-'Ikhwan and others.
(4) al-Hakim narrates in al-Mustadrak that: Marwan bin al-Hakam entered the mosque and saw a man putting his face over a grave. Marwan caught hold of his neck and said: “Are you aware of what you are doing?” The man lifted his head and it became apparent that he was Abu Ayyub al-Ansari. He said: ‘I have not come to visit a stone, but have come to visit the Holy Prophet (s). O Marwan, I have heard the Holy Prophet (s) saying: When the pious people bear the leadership do not cry for that. Do cry when unworthy men become the leaders (i.e. you and your Umayyad household).’9
This period of history reveals the root of ‘creation of obstacle’ to prevent seeking tabarruk from the grave of the Holy Prophet (s) and shows that the companions of the Holy Prophet (s) were constantly seeking tabarruk from the holy grave of the Holy Prophet. It was people like Marwan bin al-Hakam who used to prevent people from this well-known deed.
The historical incidents in this case are so numerous that narrating all of them will lengthen our discussion. Interested readers can refer to the book Tabarruk al-sahaba and the valuable book al-Ghadir vol. 5 page 146-156.
In the end, we are bound to mention that all these historical narratives can never be false and baseless. Now, even if we assume that all of them are false and baseless yet they will serve our purpose. Because, if such an action was heresy, polytheism, unlawful or forbidden, then the fabricators would have never attributed them to religious personalities since the liars fabricate instances which are worthy of approval by the society so that the people believe and accept their made up stories. They never attribute anything which is heresy, polytheism, forbidden or unlawful to the pious people because in such a case they will be confronted with the resistance and non-acceptance of the people and their arrows will hit the stone and miss the target.