Kissing Objects / Places Associated with Revered Persons

Now let us imagine for one moment: when prophet Yusuf (pbuh)’s shirt was placed on the face of prophet Yaqub (pbuh), then what must have been the reaction of Yaqub? How must a father’s love have been kindled and awakened!

Indeed he must have clung to the shirt with great longing: he must have kissed it, held it against his chest, rubbed it on his eyes. Do all these actions not fall within the definition of love and respect? If they do, then why do people argue that loving and respecting things associated with revered holy personalities is tantamount to idolatry and innovation?

If the shrines of the Prophet Muhammad Mustafa (pbuh) and his progeny, the martyrs of Karbala and indeed other martyrs in Allah’s path, are kissed then we are told this is polytheism, unlawful, innovation. What kind of an outcry is this? How can kissing someone or something ever be considered idolatrous or innovation? It is difficult to comprehend this thought both intellectually and logically.

Who does not kiss his/her child? Do those who cry ‘idolatry, innovation!’ never kiss their children? As far as a lustful kiss is concerned, would they be the first to cry that that is also an innovation? They can then judge for themselves whether all kissing is the same. Kissing a child carries a particular kind of parental feeling, whereas kissing a wife invokes a totally different emotion. Anyone could kiss a child affectionately, but if anyone kisses a man’s wife then the matter may even go as far as murder: the former kiss is lawful, the latter unlawful.

The same emotional difference can be applied to our discussion in hand: to kiss someone or something by thinking it is worthy of worship is one thing, but to kiss it with love, conviction and devotion is another. To kiss with the thought that this object of desire is the Creator is indeed idolatrous. But to kiss it on the basis of devotion, intoxicated with love, is neither idolatry nor innovation, but indeed it is a commendable act, worthy of spiritual reward.

Another point springs to attention here: and that is that one can only kiss a person or thing physically before one. As Allah is free from body or materiality, then the question of ‘kissing’ His ‘blessed feet’ or ‘blessed hands’ cannot even arise. So we have to accept that kissing is not an act that can be associated with Allah: it is only for a non-divine entity. And thus how could it ever possibly be idolatrous?