The “Salafis” have declared it prohibited to travel for the purpose of visiting the Prophet on the grounds of the hadith: “Do not travel except to three mosques.”
As for visiting the Prophet’s grave it is permissible and praiseworthy in Islam according to the massive majority of the scholars of Ahl al-Sunna, as the following translated excerpts establish beyond doubt. In his reference book for the fiqh of the four School entitled al-Fiqh `ala al-Madhahib al-arba`a (p. 711-715), `Abd al-Rahman al-Jaziri writes at length about the many benefits of visiting the Prophet’s grave and of the importance of the visit. He says that it is among the great actions which Islam, the pure religion, encourages. He also says that it not a secret that that visiting the Prophet’s grave is more beneficial to those endowed with understanding (ulu al-albab) more than any other experience. He cites many sayings on the recommended acts of the visit and its proper adab:
Let the visitor imagine the Prophet’s magnificent and generous form, as if he is sleeping in his grave, knowing him (the visitor) and hearing his words. Only then does he say: Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah… and the visitor conveys to the Prophet the greetings of those who asked him to send Salam to to the Prophet, so he says: Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah, from [name of person] the son of [name of parent] who seeks shafa’a (intercession) with you to your Lord, therefore ask for his shafa`a for all believers….
What do the scholars of Ahl al-Sunna say about travelling to visit the Prophet?
Al-Hafiz al-qadi iyad al-yahsubi al-Malik
Ibn Qunfudh al-Qusantini al-Maliki
Imam Malik’s preference of Madina over Mecca
Al-gawth al-a`azam al-imam `abdul Qadir Jilani al-hasani al-Hanbali
Al-hafiz ibn al-Jawzi al-Hanbali
Shaykh al-Islam al-Hafiz al-Imam Nawawi
Al-Hafiz al-qadi iyad al-yahsubi al-Malik
In his book al-Shifa’, Chapter entitled: Concerning the visit to the Prophet’s grave, the excellence of those who visit it and how he should be greeted, al-Qadi `Iyad writes:
Visiting his grave is part of the Sunna and is both excellent and desirable. Ibn `Umar said that the Prophet said, “My intercession is assured for all who visit me.”…
Malik disliked people saying: “We visited the grave of the Prophet.” People have disagreed about the meaning of this statement. It is said that he disliked it because of the Prophet’s saying: “Allah curses women who visit graves” [Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibban]. People related that the Prophet then said: “I forbade you to visit graves, but now you can visit them” [Muslim].
The Prophet said, “Anyone who visits my grave…” [man zara qabri] and used the word “visit”… Abu `Imran al-Fasi said, “Malik disliked anyone saying, “the tawaf of the visit,” or, “we visited the grave of the Prophet,” because people normally use that for visits between themselves, and he did not like to put the Prophet on the same level as other people. He preferred a specific statement like “We greeted the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.””
Moreover, it is merely recommended for people to visit each other whereas there is a strong obligation to visit the grave of the Prophet. “Obligation” here means the recommendation and encouragement to do that, not the obligation which is a legal duty. I think the best interpretation is that Malik forbade and disliked the practice of connecting the word “grave” with the Prophet. He did not dislike the people saying: “We visited the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.” This is because of the Prophet’s statement, “O Allah, do not make my grave an idol to be worshipped after me. Allah was angry with people who took the graves of their Prophets as mosques.” So he [Malik] omitted the word “grave” in order to cut off the means and close the door to this wrong action. Allah knows best.
Ishaq ibn Ibrahim, the faqih, said that when someone goes on hajj, he should go to Madina with the intention of praying in the mosque of the Messenger of Allah, seeking the blessing of seeing his Meadow [Rawda], his pulpit [minbar], his grave, the place where he sat, the places his hands touched and the places where his feet walked and the post on which he used to lean, where Jibril descended to him with the revelation, and the places connected with the Companions and the Imams of the Muslims who lived there. He should have consideration for all these things.
Ibn Abi Fudayk said that he heard someone state, “We have heard that all who stop at the Prophet’s grave should recite the ayat, “Allah and His angels bless the Prophet…” (33:56) and then say, “May Allah bless you, Muhammad.” If someone says this seventy times, an angel will call to him, “May Allah bless you!” and all his needs will be taken care of.”
Yazid ibn Abi Sa`id al-Mahri said that he went to `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz and when `Umar bade him farewell, he said, “I would like you to do something for me. When you reach Madina and see the grave of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, greet him for me with peace.” Another said, “He used to send such greetings in his letters from Syria.”…
In al-Mabsut, Malik says, “I do not think people should stand at the grave of the Prophet, but should greet and then depart”… and “It is not necessary for the people of Madina who enter and leave the mosque to stand at the grave. That is for strangers”… and “There is no harm in someone who comes from a journey or leaves on a journey standing at the grave of the Prophet”…
Ibn al-Qasim said, “When the people of Madina left or entered Madina, I saw that they used to come to the grave and give the greeting… That is what is considered the correct thing to do.”
Al-Baji said, “There is a difference between the people of Madina and strangers because strangers have a specific intention for doing so [visiting the grave] whereas the Madinans live there and do not intend to go there for the sake of the grave and the greeting.”
In the Chapter entitled: “The adab of entering the Mosque of the Prophet and its excellence, the excellence of the prayer in it and in the mosque of Makka, the Prophet’s grave and minbar, and the excellence of living in Madina and Makka,” the same author says: “There is no dispute that the place of his grave is the best place on earth.”
Ibn Qunfudh al-Qusantini al-Maliki
Ibn Qunfudh (d. 810 H) says in his book Wasilat al-islam bi al-nabi `alayhi al-salat wa al-salam [The Means to Islam With the Prophet, Peace be upon him] (Beirut: Dar al-gharb al-islami, 1404/1984) p. 144-145:
The visit to his grave, Peace be upon him, is a Sunna from among the Sunnas of prophets, and an excellent action which is highly desirable. The Prophet said: “Whoso visits my grave, my intercession for him becomes guaranteed” and “Whoever [performs the Pilgrimage and then] visits me after my death, it is as if he visited me in my life.” His visit is a greatly profitable matter for seeking blessings by standing at his grave, and by praying in his mosque.
The order of priority is to send blessings upon him before greeting the mosque (tahiyyat al-masjid) and before approaching to greet him. It is permissible to say: “So-and-so sends his greetings to you.” Ibn Wahb relates from Imam Malik: “When one greets the Prophet, let him face the grave not the Qibla, and let him not touch the grave with his hand nor raise his voice. The Prophet said: “A prayer in this mosque of mine [in Madina] is better than a thousand prayers in any other, except the Holy Mosque [in Mecca]” (Muslim). Its meaning is that prayer in the Prophet’s mosque is better than that in the Holy Mosque, but not by one thousand times.”
There is also in the hadith: “Between my grave and my pulpit lies a grove from the groves of Paradise” (Bukhari and Muslim) and: “Madina is a great good for them, if they but knew!” (al-Bazzar with a sound chain, Tabarani with a fair chain, and Ahmad in the Musnad) and: “Whoever is able to die in Madina let him die there, for verily I intercede for him who dies there”. The scholars differ concerning which is better, Mecca or Madina. Allah the Exalted said: “Lo! the first sancturay appointed for mankind was that at Becca, a blessed place, a guidance to the peoples; wherein are plain memorials (of Allah’s guidance); the place where Abraham stood up to pray; and whosoever entereth it is safe” (3:96-97). The experts of Qur’anic commentary said that “he is safe” means safe from the fire.
IMAM MALIK’S PREFERENCE OF MADINA OVER MECCA
Abu Hurayra related that the Prophet said:
“One prayer in this mosque of mine is better than a thousand prayers in any other, except the Sacred Mosque (in Mecca).” Muslim narrated it through ten chains in his Sahih.
Imam Nawawi in his commentary on Sahih Muslim said:
“The scholars have differed regarding the meaning of the above exception in the same way that they have differed concerning Mecca and Madina: which of the two is better? The way of Shafi`i and the vast majority of the scholars is that Mecca is better than Madina and that the mosque in Mecca is better than the mosque in Madina. The opposite is true for Malik and a group of scholars.
According to Shafi`i and the vast majority, the meaning of the exception is: “except the Holy Mosque (in Mecca), for prayer in it is better than in my mosque.” According to Malik and those who agree with him, however, the meaning of the exception is: “except the Holy Mosque (in Mecca), for prayer in my mosque is better than there, but not by a thousand times.”
Nawawi goes on to quote the hadith of `Abd Allah Ibn al-Zubayr whereby the Prophet said:
“One prayer in this mosque of mine is better than a thousand prayers in any other except the Holy Mosque (in Mecca), and one prayer in the Holy Mosque (in Mecca) is better than one hundred prayers in my mosque.” Nawawi said: “A fair hadith (hadith hasan), narrated by Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his Musnad, Bayhaqi, and others with a fair chain, and Allah knows best.” End of Nawawi’s words.
Source: Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim, Khalil al-Mays ed., Beirut: Dar al-Qalam, 9/10:172.
Qadi `Iyad al-Maliki said in al-Shifa’, chapter on “the etiquette of entering the mosque of the Prophet and its excellence”:
[Regarding the hadith: “One prayer in this mosque of mine is better than a thousand prayers in any other, except the Sacred Mosque (in Mecca)”]
“The scholars have differed regarding the meaning of the above exception in the same way that they have differed concerning the greater excellence of Mecca and Madina. Malik considers, according to the narrations of Ashhab [ibn `Abd al-`Aziz], Ibn Nafi` the companion of Malik, and a large group of others among his companions: that the meaning of the hadith whereby prayer in the Prophet’s mosque is better than that one thousand in any other mosque except the Holy Mosque (in Mecca), is that prayer in the Prophet’s mosque is better than that in the Holy Mosque (in Mecca), but not by a thousand times. They use as proof what has been related from `Umar ibn al-Khattab [“in Musnad al-Humaydi” — `Ali al-Qari] whereby prayer in the Sacred Mosque (in Mecca) is better than a hundred prayers in other mosques in any other. It follows from this that the excellence of the Prophet’s mosque (over Mecca) is nine hundred times greater, and a thousand times greater than all other mosques. This is based on the superexcellence of Madina over Mecca to which we have referred, and is the position of `Umar ibn al-Khattab, Malik, and the majority of the people of Madina.” End of Qadi `Iyad’s words.
al-Shawkani in Nayl al-Awtar says:
“The position of `Umar and some of the Companions and Malik and the majority of the people of Madina is that Madina is better.”
Sources: Qadi `Iyad, al-Shifa’, ed. al-Bajawi, 2:681.
Shawkani, Nayl al-awtar, Dar al-kutub al-`ilmiyya, 5:28.
In his commentary on Qadi `Iyad, Imam `Ali al-Qari al-Hanafi writes:
“There is no doubt that Mecca, among the highly venerated sanctuaries, is preferable to Madina itself, except for the mound of the Prophet’s grave, which is mercy and tranquillity: for it is better than the Ka`ba or rather, better than the Throne itself according to a large group of the scholars.” End of Qari’s words.
Source: al-Qari, Sharh al-Shifa’, Dar al-kutub al-`ilmiyya ed., 2:162.
THE PROPHET’S GRAVE IS THE HOLIEST SITE ON EARTH
Qadi `Iyad states in al-Shifa’, in the chapter on visiting the Prophet, the consensus of the Muslims whereby the site of the Prophet’s grave is the holiest site on earth. This particular consensus has been questioned by Ibn Taymiyya in his al-Ziyara and Shawkani in Nayl al-awtar, however, it is established that some of the major scholars of all four schools agree to this view whether or not it is a consensus, among whom are the following:
Hanafis: `Ali al-Qari in his Sharh al-Shifa’ already quoted.
Malikis: Qadi `Iyad in al-Shifa’ already quoted. He cited ijma` on this question.
Shafi`is: Nawawi in his Sharh Sahih Muslim 6:101 and al-Majmu` sharh al-muhadhdhab 7:444. He reported `Iyad’s statement and did not contradict it.
Hanbalis: Ibn `Aqil as quoted by Ibn Qayyim in Bada’i` al-fawa’id
See also: Sa`di Abu Habib, Mawsu`at al-ijma` fi al-fiqh al-islami 2:919.
AL-GHAWTH AL-A`ZAM AL-IMAM AL-SHAYKH `ABD AL-QADIR AL-JILANI AL-HASANI AL-HANBALI
Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani writes the following in the section on entering Madina at the end of the section on the Pilgrimage in his book al-Ghunya li talibi tariq al-Haqq `azza wa jall:
Entering Madina the Illuminated
If Allah blesses the pilgrim with prosperity and he is able to come to Madina, then what is desirable for him is that he come to the mosque of the Prophet and say upon entering it:
allahumma salli `ala muhammadin wa `ala ali muhammad, waftah li abwab rahmatik, wa kaffi `anni abwab `adhabik, al-hamdu lillah rabb al-`alamin.
O Allah, send blessings upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, and stem for me the gates of your mercy, and close for me the gates of your punishment, all praise belongs to Allah.
Then let him come to the grave of the Prophet and stand in its proximity so that he will be between the grave and the Qibla, and let him stand so that the facade of the Qibla will be behind him and the grave in front of him exactly facing his face, and the minbar to his left… Let him then say:
Peace upon you, O Prophet, and Allah’s mercy and His blessings!
O Allah, send blessings upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad as you have sent blessings upon Ibrahim, praised and glorified are You!
O Allah, bestow upon our master Muhammad the Means (al-wasila) and the Priority (al-fadila) and the high rank (al-daraja al-rafi`a), and raise him to the exalted station (al-maqam al-mahmud) which You have promised him!
O Allah, send blessings upon the spirit of Muhammad among all spirits, and upon his body upon all bodies, just as he has conveyed Your Message and recited Your signs and fought according to Your command and striven in Your path and commanded that You be obeyed and forbade that You be disobeyed and opposed those who opposed You and befriended those who befriended You and served You until death came to him.
O Allah, You said to Your Prophet in Your Book: “If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah’s forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful” (4:64), and I have come to Your House [sic; two other manuscripts have: “and I have come to You”] in repentence from my sins and seeking forgiveness, therefore I ask You that you make forgiveness guaranteed for me as you have made it guaranteed for those who came to him in his lifetime acknowledging their sins, so that their Prophet invoked You on their behalf and You forgave them.
O Allah! I am turning to You with Your Prophet, upon him Your peace, the Prophet of mercy. O Messenger of Allah! I am turning with you to my Lord so that He will forgive me my sins. O Allah, I am asking You for his sake (bi haqqihi) that You forgive me and grant me mercy.
O Allah, grant to Muhammad that he be the first of the intercessors, the most successful of those who ask, and the most honorable of the first and the last. O Allah, just as we believed in him without seeing him; and just as we confirmed him without meeting him: enter us where he entered and raise us in his group and bring us to his pond and quench us with his cup of a satisfying, pure, fresh, whole drink after which we shall never thirst , and keep us forever away from disappointment, betrayal, deviation, negation, and doubt, and make us not of those You are angered against, nor of the misguided, but place us among the people of his intercession.
Then let him step to his left and say:
Peace be upon both of you, O Companions of Allah’s Messenger, and Allah’s mercy and His blessings. Peace be upon you, O Abu Bakr the Most-Truthful. Peace be upon you, O `Umar the Distinguisher. O Allah, reward them with abundant good on behalf of their Prophet and all Islam, and forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in the faith, and do not place in our hearts rancor towards the believers, O Allah! for You are most kind, merciful.
Then let him pray two rak`at and sit. It is desirable that he pray between the grave and the pulpit in the Rawda; and, if he so desires, that he rub the pulpit to take its blessing (wa in ahabba an yatamassah bi al-minbar tabarrukan bih); and that he pray in the mosque of Quba’; and that he go visit the graves of the martyrs and make abundant invocations there.
Then, if he wants to leave Madina, let him come to the Prophet’s mosque, approach the grave, greet the Prophet, and do exactly as he did before, then bid him farewell and similarly greet his two Companions and bid them farewell. Then let him say:
O Allah, don’t make this the last of my visit to the grave of Your Prophet, and if you cause me to die, then make me die loving him and his Sunna. Amin, O most merciful of the merciful!
Then he may leave in peace, by Allah’s will.
Al-hafiz ibn al-Jawzi al-Hanbali
Ibn al-Jawzi writes in Muthir Al-Gharam Al-Sakin Ila Ashraf Al-Amakin:
Chapter on Visiting the Grave of The Prophet
He who visits the grave of Allah’s Messenger should stand while visiting him with in most respectful manner possible, as if he were with him in his lifetime. Ibn `Umar narrates that Allah’s Messenger said: “He who performs pilgrimage then visits my grave after my death, is like those who visited me during my lifetime.” Ibn `Umar narrates: Allah’s Messenger said, “He who visits my grave becomes eligible for my intercession.” Anas narrates: Allah’s Messenger said: “He who visits me in Madina counting on his visit to me (muhtasiban), I will be his witness and intercessor on the day of Judgment.”
Ibn Abi Mulayka said: “Whoever wants to stand facing the Prophet, let him position himself where the Lamp which is located in the Qibla at the grave is over his head.” There is another mark that is more easily recognizable than the Lamp, it is a brass nail in the room’s wall. When someone stands besides it, the Lamp would be over his head.
Ibn Abi Fudayk said, “I heard some people who lived duthe same era, we heard that anyone who stands at the Prophet’s grave and recite this verse, Inna Allaha wa mala’ikatahu yusalluna `ala al-Nabi (Al-Ahzab 56) and then say: Salla Allahu `alaika ya Muhammad and seventy times, an angel will call out to him: “May Allah send blessings on you, O So-and-so! No need of yours will go from hence unfulfilled.”
It was related to us [with its chain of transmission] that Ka`b al-Ahbar said: “Every dawn, seventy thousand angels descend and encircle the grave, flapping their wings, and invoking blessings on the Prophet until it is evening time, whereupon they ascend, and an equal number descend and do the same. And this is so until the earth breaks open, whereupon he will come out among seventy thousand angels supporting him.
`Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz used to send his courier from Syria with the message: “Convey my greetings to Allah’s Messenger.”
Chapter on His Nation’s Greeting Reaching Him
`Abd Allah ibn Mas`ud said: Allah’s Messenger said, “Allah has angels that roam the earth bringing me the greetings of my nation.” Abu Huraira said, “No one sends me Salam except Allah has returned my soul to me so that I can return his Salam.”
[We have already mentioned the explanation of this hadith in the section on Mawlid above.]
Chapter on Some Sayings That Were Retained From the Visitors to his Grave and States They Have Experienced
Abu Nasir told us [with his chain of transmission] that `Ali said: “When Allah’s Messenger was buried, Fatima came and stood in front of his grave, took a handful of soil, put it on her eyes, cried and recited:
The one who breathes from the soil of Ahmad Will never breathe trouble all his life long
If the troubles that have been poured on me Were poured on days, they would turn into nights
Muhammed ibn Hibban said: I heard Ibrahim ibn Shayban saying: “I performed pilgrimage one year, so I came to Madina and approached the grave of the Prophet and said Salam to him. I heard from inside the room: “Wa `aleika al-Salam.”
Abu Hazim [Salama ibn Dinar] said: I heard Sa`id ibn al-Musayyib say: “During the nights of the heat wave there were no people in the Prophet’s Masjid except myself. The people of Syria would enter in groups and say: “Look at this crazy old man!” and whenever the time of prayer came, I would hear adhan coming from the Prophet’s grave. I would step forward, call iqama and pray, and there would be no one in the Masjid but me.”
Muhammad ibn Harb al-Hilali said: “I entered Madina, and came to the grave of Allah’s Messenger. An Arab came and to visit him and said: “O best of the Prophets, Allah has revealed to you a truthful book and said in it: “If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah’s forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful” (4:64), so I have come to you asking forgiveness for my sin, seeking your intercession with my Lord.” Then he began to recite poetry:
O best of those whose bones are buried in the deep earth, And from whose fragrance the depth
and the height have become sweet, May I be the ransom for a grave which thou inhabit,
And in which are found purity, bounty and munificence!
Then he left, and I dozed and saw the Prophet in my sleep. He said to me: “Run after the Arab and give him glad tidings that Allah has forgiven him through my intercession.”
Abu al-Khayr al-Aqta` said: “I entered the city of Allah’s Messenger and I was in material need. I stayed five days without eating anything. I came toward the grave and said Salam to the Prophet and to Abu Bakr and `Umar then said: “I am your guest tonight, O Allah’s Messenger!” I then stepped aside and slept behind the Minbar. I saw the Prophet in my dream, with Abu Bakr to his Right, `Umar to his left, and `Ali in front of him. `Ali shook me and said, “Get up, Rasullullah is coming.” I got up and kissed him between his eyes; he gave me a loaf of bread, I ate half of it; when I woke up I found half a loaf in my hand.”
Shaykh al-Islam al-Hafiz al-Imam Nawawi
In his al-Idah fi Manasik al-Hajj:
Chapter 6: On Visiting the Grave of our Master, the Messenger of Allah, Peace be upon him. In this chapter are discussed the recommended and discouraged actions of those who perform Hajj.
The first of the issues concerns those who make Hajj and `Umra. When they leave Mecca, they should go towards the city of Allah’s Messenger to visit his turba or burial ground. It is one of the most important of those actions that bring one towards Allah, and a most important effort. Al-Bazzar and al-Daraqutni narrated on the authority of Ibn Umar that Allah’s Messenger said “Whoever visits my grave, my intercession becomes guaranteed for him.”
The second point concerns preferred or recommended actions for the visitor to have intention to do when visiting Allah’s Messenger. His intention should be to draw closer to Allah by travelling to his mosque and praying in it.
Third, it is also recommended that when the visitor is in transit he should increase his recitation of greetings and blessings on the Prophet, and that when he sees the trees of Medina, its blessed sanctuary, or any landmark in Medina, he should increase his recitations of greetings and blessings; he should ask that Allah accept his visit and grant him benefit for visiting.
Fourth, it is recommended that the pilgrim perform the greater ablution (ghusl) before entering Madina and put on his cleanest clothes. He should visualize in his heart the honor of Madina, the best place in the world after Mecca according to some scholars; others consider Madina to be the best place in the world without exception. What makes it so honorable is the presence of Allah’s Prophet, the best of all creation.
Fifth, the pilgrim should attune himself to the feeling of the greatness of Allah’s Messenger; his heart should be full of his presence, as if he is seeing him.
Sixth: when he arrives at the door of his mosque, let him say the things he says when entering Mecca; he should enter with his right foot and leave with his left, as he should when entering and leaving any Masjid. As he approaches the holy Rawda, which is the place between the Prophet’s grave and his pulpit, he prays tahiyyat al-Masjid (the prayer of greeting the Masjid) near the Minbar, in the standing place of Allah’s Messenger. In the book of Madina the
distance between the Minbar and the Maqam or standing place, where he used to pray until his death, is fourteen arm-lengths and one hand span, and the distance between the Minbar and the grave is fifty-three arm lengths and a span, and Allah knows best.
Seventh, after he prays the Tahiyya in the Rawda (or anywhere else in the Masjid), in thankfulness to Allah for this bounty, and asking Him for the completion of his mission and for the acceptance of his visit, he should face the wall of the holy grave, with the Qibla behind him, looking to the lower part of the grave’s wall, lowering his gaze in a state of awe and reverence, emptying his heart of worldly concerns and focusing on the reverent nature of his situation and the status of the one in whose presence he is. Then he gives greetings in a voice neither too loud nor too soft, but with moderation; he says the following:
as-Salamu `alayka ya RasulAllah Peace be upon you O Messenger of Allah
as-Salamu `alayka ya NabiAllah Peace be upon you O Prophet of Allah
as-Salamu `alayka ya KhiyaratAllah Peace be upon you O Elect of Allah
as-Salamu `alayka ya KhayrAllah Peace be upon you O Goodness of Allah
as-Salamu `alayka ya HabibAllah Peace be upon you O Beloved of Allah
as-Salamu `alayka ya Nadhir Peace be upon you O Warner
as-Salamu `alayka ya Bashir Peace be upon you O Bearer of Glad Tidings
as-Salamu `alayka ya Tuhr Peace be upon you O Purity
as-Salamu `alayka ya Tahir Peace be upon you O Pure One
as-Salamu `alayka ya Nabiar-Rahma Peace be upon you O Prophet of Mercy
as-Salamu `alayka ya Nabi-al-Umma Peace be upon you O Prophet of the Community
as-Salamu `alayka ya Abal-Qasim Peace be upon you O Father of Qasim
as-Salamu `alayka ya Rasul Rabbil-`Alamin Peace be upon you O Messenger of the Lord of the Worlds
as-Salamu `alayka ya sayyid-al-mursalin wa ya khatam an- nabiyyin Peace be upon you O Master of Messengers and Seal of Prophets
as-Salamu `alayka ya Khayr-al-Khala’iqi ajma`in Peace be upon you O Best of All Creatures
as-Salamu `alayka ya Qa’id al-Ghurri al-Muhajjalin Peace be upon you O Leader of the Bright-faced ones
as-Salamu `alayka wa `ala Alika wa Ahli baytika wa Azwajika wa Dhurriyyatika wa Ashabika ajma`in Peace be upon you and upon your Family, the People of your House, your Wives, your Children, and all your Companions
as-Salamu `alayka wa `ala Sa’iril-Anbiya’i wa Jami`i `Ibadi-llahis-Salihin Peace be upon you and upon all the Prophets and Allah’s righteous Servants
Jazak Allahu Ya Rasulallahi `anna Afdala ma jaza Nabiyyan wa Rasulan `an Ummatihi May Allah reward you, O Messenger of Allah, with the best reward a Prophet or a Messenger ever received on behalf of his Community
Wa Sallallahu `alayka wa Sallama kulla ma dhakaraka-z-dhakirun wa ghafala `an dhikrika-l-ghafilun Blessings and Peace of Allah upon you every time one remembers you and every time one fails to remember you
Afdala wa Akmala wa Atyaba ma Salla wa Sallama `ala Ahadin min al-Khalqi ajma`in With the best, most perfect, and choicest of blessings and peace ever bestowed upon anyone in creation
Ashhadu an La Ilaha Illallahu wahdahu la sharika lah I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah alone, without partner
Wa ashhadu annaka `Abduhu wa Rasuluhu wa Khiyaratuhu min khalqihi And I bear witness that you are His servant, His Messenger, His Elect among all creatures
Wa ashhadu annaka qad ballaghta-ar-Risala wa addayta-al-Amana wa nasahta-al-Umma wa jahadta fillahi haqqa jihadih And I bear witness that you have conveyed the Message and fulfilled the trust and counseled the Community and striven for Allah with the most truthful striving
Allahumma atihi al-wasilata wa-al-fadilata wa-b`athhu maqaman mahmudan al-ladhi wa`adtah O Allah! Grant him the Means and the Excellent Gift and Raise him to the Exalted Station You have promised him
Wa atihi nihayata ma yanbaghi an yas’aluhu-al-sa’ilun And grant him the goal of what those who beseech You must beseech for him
Allahumma salli `ala Sayyidina Muhammadin `abdika wa rasulika al-Nabiyyi al-Ummi wa `ala Ali Sayyidina Muhammadin wa Azwajihi wa dhurriyyatih O Allah! Send blessings on our Master Muhammad Your servant and Messenger, the Unlettered Prophet, and upon the Family of our Master Muhammad, his Wives and his Children
Kama sallayta `ala Sayyidina Ibrahima wa `ala Ali Sayyidina Ibrahima As you have sent blessings on our Master Ibrahim and on the Family of our Master Ibrahim
Wa barik `ala Sayyidina Muhammadin al-nabiyyi al-ummi wa `ala Ali Sayyidina Muhammadin wa Azwajihi wa dhurriyyatih And send benedictions on our Master Muhammad Your servant and Messenger, the Unlettered Prophet, and upon the Family of our Master Muhammad, his Wives and his Children
Kama barakta `ala Sayyidina Ibrahima wa `ala Ali Sayyidina Ibrahima fil-`alamina innaka Hamidun Majid As you have sent benedictions on our Master Ibrahim and on the Family of our Master Ibrahim in the worlds, for You are truly the most praiseworthy and noble.
As for him who cannot memorize all of this or who does not have the time to recite it, it is enough to recite a part of it, as a minimum the words as-Salamu `alayka ya Rasul-Allah
Then, if someone has asked him to convey Salams to Allah’s Messenger, let him say as-Salamu `alayka ya Rasul Allah min Fulan ibn Fulan (Greetings to you, O Messenger of Allah, from So-and-so, the son of So-and-so), or some such greeting, after which he steps an arm’s length to the right and sends Salams to Abu Bakr because he stands at the shoulder of Allah’s Messenger; then he says as-Salamu `alayka ya Aba Bakrin safiyya rasulillahi wa thaniyahu fil-ghari, jazakallahu `an ummatin-nabiyyi khayran, (Greetings to you, O Abu Bakr, the Intimate Friend of Allah’s Messenger and his second in the Cave! May Allah grant you the best reward on behalf of the Prophet’s Community). Then he steps an arm’s length to the left of his original position, to the space before Umar, saying: as-salamu `alayka ya `umar a`azza-llahu bikal-islama, jazak-Allahu `an ummati muhammadin khayran (Greetings to you O `Umar, Allah has strengthened Islam through you, may Allah reward you well on behalf of the nation of Muhammad). Then he returns to his original position, directly in front of Allah’s Messenger, and he uses the prophet as his means in his innermost (fa yatawassalu bihi fi haqqi nafsihi), and seeks his intercession before his exalted and mighty Lord (wa yatashaffa`u bihi ila rabbihi subhanahu wa ta`ala), and one of the best things that he can say is what has been narrated by our colleagues on al-`Utbi’s authority, and they admired what he said:
As I was sitting by the grave of the Prophet, a Beduin Arab came and said: “Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah! I have heard Allah saying: “If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah’s forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful” (4:64), so I have come to you asking forgiveness for my sin, seeking your intercession with my Lord.” Then he began to recite poetry:
O best of those whose bones are buried in the deep earth,
And from whose fragrance the depth
and the height have become sweet,
May I be the ransom for a grave which thou inhabit,
And in which are found purity, bounty and munificence!
Then he left, and I dozed and saw the Prophet in my sleep. He said to me: “O `Utbi, run after the Beduin and give him glad tidings that Allah has forgiven him.”
The pilgrim should next advance to the head of the grave and stand between the grave and the pillar that is there, facing the Qibla [without turning his back on the grave]. Let him praise and glorify Allah and supplicate for himself regarding what concerns him and what he loves, for his parents, and for whomever he likes among his relatives, revered teachers, brothers, and Muslims in general; then he comes to the Rawda and increases his supplication and prayer It is established in the two Sahihs in a narration from Abu Hurayra that the Prophet said: “Between my grave and my Minbar lies one of the Gardens of Paradise, and my Minbar overlooks my Pool (hawd). Let him stand by the Minbar to make supplication.
Eighth: It is impermissible (la yajuz) to circumulate the grave of the Prophet, and it is reprehensible (makruh) to stand so close to the grave that one’s entire front or back is in direct contact with it. This is according to the opinion of al-Halimi and others. Also reprehensible is rubbing the grave with one’s hand or kissing it. The good etiquette is to stay a distance from it, as one would from a living person. This is what the `ulama have said, and we should not be misled by such actions of common people that are in violation of these good manners; we should only follow the prescriptions of the scholars, without paying attention to the behavior of the common people. The respected master, Abu `Ali al-Fudayl ibn `Iyad spoke to the effect that one must follow the paths of guidance and not be distracted that so few travel them, and to beware the paths of misguidance that are well-travelled by those who will perish. Therefore, he who thinks that rubbing and such bring more baraka is misled by his ignorance and heedlessness, because baraka is in what is in accordance with the Shari`a and the sayings of the scholars; how then can benefit be obtained through opposition to what is right?
Ninth: Throughout his stay in Madina he must perform all of his prayers in the Prophet’s Masjid, and must form the intention of making i`tikaf (retreat) in it.
Tenth: It is desirable that he go daily to the cemetary of Baqi`, especially on Friday; he should first say Salams to the Prophet. When he arrives at Baqi`, he says: as-Salamu `alaykum Dara Qawmin mu’minina wa inna insha Allahu bikum lahiqun, Allahumma ighfir li ahli Baqi-l-gharqad, Allahumma ighfir lana wa lahum. Then he visits the visible graves there, such as that of Ibrahim tthe son of the Prophet pbuh, `Uthman, al-`Abbas, al-Hasan the son of `Ali, `Ali the son of Al-Hussein, Muhammad ibn `Ali, Ja`far ibn Muhammad, and others. The last stop would be the grave of Safiyya, the Aunt of Allah’s Messenger; it has been established in numerous sound hadiths that there is merit in the graves of the Baqi` and in visiting them.
Eleventh: It is recommended to visit the graves of the martyrs of Uhud, the best day being Thursday, and to begin with Hamza, starting early in the morning after the dawn prayer in the mosque of the Prophet, so as to allow time to return to the Masjid before the Noon prayer.
Twelfth: It is definitely recommended to come to the Masjid of Quba’, preferably on a Saturday, with the intention of drawing closer to Allah by visiting it and praying in it, due the authentic hadith in the book of Tirmidhi and others from Usayb ibn Hudhayr, that a prayer in the Masjid of Quba’ is like `umra, and in the two Sahihs from Ibn `Umar, he said that Allah’s Messenger used to come to Masjid Quba’ both riding and walking to pray in it two rak`a, and in an authentic narration he used to come to it every Saturday. It is recommended to visit the well of Aris, which is located by the mosque of Quba’, and drink from its water and perform ablution with it.
Thirteenth: It is desirable that one visit all the sites of significance in Islam. There are approximately thirty such places, and they are known to the inhabitants of Madina. The pilgrim should visit as many as he can. He should also come to and drink from the wells where Allah’s Messenger used to perform ablution and wash. There are seven such wells.
Fourteenth: The pilgrim must maintain reverence toward this city throughout his stay there, keeping in his heart that it is the place chosen as the place of Allah’s Messenger’s emigration and residence, and the place where he was buried; he must visualize the Prophet’s coning and going in the city and his walking in its streets.
Fifteenth: Taking up residence in Madina [especially for study] is desirable on the same condition that were previously mentioned with reference to Mecca. The desirability of this practice has been established in Sahih Muslim: Ibn `Umar and Abu Hurayra related that the Prophet said: “He who perseveres through the difficulties and hardships of Madina, I will be a witness or an intercessor for him on the day of judgment.”
Sixteenth: It is recommended that he fast in Medina whenever it is possible and as much as possible, and to give Sadaqa as much as possible to the Prophet’s jiran (people performing Mujawara), because it is a way of being faithful to the Prophet.
Seventeenth: He is not to carry with him any of the pottery made from the soil and stones of the Haram of Medina, nor the pitchers nor others of the ustensils made from it, as has been stated with regard to the Haram of Mecca.
Eighteenth: Hunting at the Haram of Medina is forbidden, and it is also forbidden to remove from the trees of the Haram; these rules have been discussed in reference to the Haram of Mecca. The boundary of the Haram of Medina is what has been narrated by Bukhari and Muslim in their two authentic books from `Ali ibn Abi Talib from the Prophet: “The Haram of Madina is between `Ayr and Thawr [a hill behind Uhud]”; and in the two authentic books from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah who said: “If I see the deer grazing or drinking in Madina I would never interfere with them.” The Prophet also said, “What is between her two tracts of black stones [i.e. city limits],” and so it has been narrated by a group of Companions in the Sahih.
Nineteenth: If he wants to travel from Madina and go back to his country or another country, it is desirable to say farewell to the Masjid by performing two rak`a and making supplication for any matter about which he is concerned; he has to come to the grave and say something similar to the supplications mentioned at the beginning and says, “Oh Allah, do not make this the last time that I come to the Haram of Your Messenger; make easy my return to the two Sacred Sanctuaries, and bestow upon me forgiveness and security in this life and in the hereafter, and grant us safe return with your bounty.” He leaves facing away from the tomb.
Twentieth: Important matters regarding the Prophet’s mosque: It has been narrated in Sahih Bukhari from Ibn `Umar that he said that in the time of Allah’s Messenger the masjid was built with sun-dried clay bricks; its roof was made of palm branches, the pillars were of palm wood. Abu Bakr did not add to it anything; `Umar added to it and built it the way that it used to be during the time of the Prophet with bricks and palm branches and palm-wood pillars. `Uthman, in turn, changed it, adding considerably to it, and he built up its walls with engraved stone and freestone, put up pillars of engraved stone, and a roof of teak [Indian oak]. It is incumbent to keep Salat in the Masjid that used to exist during the time of Allah’s Messenger. For the previously mentioned sound hadith: “A prayer in this, my Masjid, is better than a thousand prayers in any other Masjid” applies only to what was in place in his own time. If one prays in congregation, stepping forward to the first row, and those rows immediately behind it, is best. Let him pay attention to what I have warned about. In the two Sahih books on the authority of Abu Hurayra the Prophet said: “My Minbar overlooks my Pool.” Al-Khattabi said that the meaning of this hadith is that he who keeps the prayers at my Minbar shall be given water from the Prophet’s Pool on the Day of Judgment. The other hadith in the Sahih has already been mentioned: “Between my grave and the Minbar, lies one of the Gardens of Paradise.”
Twenty-first: Some of the common people claimed that Allah’s Messenger said: “Whoever visits me and my father Ibrahim in the same year, I guarantee Paradise for him,” and this is false; it is not from Allah’s Messenger and it is not mentioned in any books of hadith. Rather, it is a fabrication of some corrupt individuals. The visit of the Friend of the Merciful is not disapproved. What is rejected is only what the common people have narrated and there is no relation between the visit of the Khalil and Hajj; the visit of the Khalil is a separate act of devotion. Likewise, the saying of some of the common people whereby if they perform the Hajj and complement it by visiting Jerusalem, they are thereby completing the Pilgrimage: this is false. While visiting Jerusalem is desirable, it is not related to Hajj. And Allah knows best.
Twenty-second: If one swears an oath to visit the Prophet’s Mosque or Jerusalem, there are two points of view for al-Shafi`i; the more correct one is that it is desirable that he go, but not obligatory.
And Allah knows best.