The true faith regarding visiting the Prophet's tomb and asking for his intercession

First, on visiting the Prophet's tomb, the following evidence is presented:

1. Prophet Muhammad said: «Whoever visits me after my death is as if he had visited me in my lifetime.»1

2. Prophet Muhammad said: «Whoever visits me at al-Medina I shall be his witness and intercede on his behalf on Judgment Day.»2

3. Prophet Muhammad said: «Whoever visits me at al-Medina shall be at my side on Judgment Day.»3

4. The Prophet also said: «Whoever visits my tomb will entitled to my intercession.»4

5. Imam Malik said: If a man wants to visit the Prophet's tomb let him turn his back to the Qibla (i.e. the Kaba in Mecca), face the Prophet and call a blessing on him and supplicate.5

6. Followers of Imam al-Shafi advised visitors of the Prophet's tomb to stand facing the tomb with their backs to the Qibla. This was also Ahmed ibn Hanbal's instruction.6

7. In his book entitled Al-Ilal wa al-Su'alat, Abdullah ibn Ahmed ibn Hanbal (son of Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal) wrote: «I asked my father if it is permissible for a person to touch the Prophet's minber, i.e. pulpit, and to seek blessings by touching and kissing it and do the same at the Prophet's tomb, and he answered me: It is allowed.»7

8. Al-Tabari said: «It is permissible to kiss and touch the [Prophet's] tomb and that was the tradition of religious and pious persons.»8

9. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq reported that Fatima, the Prophet's daughter, used to visit her uncle's, Hamza, tomb every Friday.9

Second, on asking for the Prophet's intercession, we present the following testimonies:

1. The Prophet said in his supplication: «O Allah, by the right of supplicants...»10

2. Al-Sawi al-Hanbali wrote in his book Al-Mustawib on the subject of visiting the Prophet's tomb: 'The visitor should approach the tomb's wall, facing it with his back to the Qibla and the pulpit to his left.' He also described the procedure for supplication at the tomb as follows: «O Allah, you have addressed the Prophet in Your Book: 'And if when they do themselves injustice by committing sins they can come to you to beg Allah's forgiveness and the Prophet beseeches Allah to forgive them.' So I have come to your Prophet to ask for forgiveness and I beseech You to grant me forgiveness as You have granted it to those who visited him in his lifetime. O Allah I ask You in the name of Your Prophet..'

3. In the supplication of Imam Ali ibn al-Hussain he said: «O Lord, deliver me from sadness by the right of Muhammad and his Household.»11

4. The Hanbali shaikh Abu Ali al-Khala said: «Whenever something worries me I would visit the tomb of [Imam] Musa ibn Jafar and ask for his intercession, and Allah always granted me what I asked for.»12

5. Imam al-Shafi said: «I seek blessings through Abi Hanifa by visiting his tomb daily. If I need anything I would perform a short prayer, visit his tomb and implore Allah to grant me my wish. My supplications were always answered.»13

6. Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn al-Mo'amal said: «We accompanied Imam Abi Bakr ibn Khuzaima, Abi Ali al-Thaqafi and a group of religious scholars on a visit to the tomb of [Imam] Ali ibn Musa al- Rida in Toos (Persia). I was astonished by the high respect shown by Ibn Khuzaima towards the tomb and his supplications at it.»14

7. Ibn Taimai said: Ahmed ibn Hanbal, as reported in Minsak al-Mirwithi, allowed asking for the Prophet's intercession and supplicating at his tomb. Other sources such as Ibn Abi al-Dunia, al-Baihaqi, al-Tabarani have also confirmed this, according to Ibn Taimia.15

  • 1. Sunnun al-Darqutni, vol. 2, p. 278.
  • 2. Sunnun Abi Dawood, vol. 2, p. 12; Ibn Abi al-Dunia, Wafa al-Wafa, p. 1395.
  • 3. Al-Baihaqi, Al-Sunnun al-Kubra, vol. 5, p. 245.
  • 4. Sunnun al-Darqutni, vol. 2, pp. 378, 194.
  • 5. Al-Nawawi, Roos al-Masa'il; Wafa al-Wafa, op. cit., p. 1377.
  • 6. Wafa al-Wafa, op. cit., p. 1378.
  • 7. Ibid., p. 1404.
  • 8. Ibid., p. 1406.
  • 9. Tafseer al-Qurtubi, vol. 10, p. 248.
  • 10. Ibn al-Sunni, Amal al-Yaom wa al-Laila.
  • 11. Al-Sahifa al-Sajadiyya, Supplication no. 30.
  • 12. Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 1, p. 120.
  • 13. Ibid., vol. 1, p. 123; Al-Khawarizmi, Manaqib Abi Hanifa, vol. 2, p. 199.
  • 14. Tahtheeb al-Tah'theeb, vol. 7, p. 339.
  • 15. Ibn Taimia, Al-Tawasil wa la-Wasila, pp. 105-106.