JOURNEYING TO VISIT THE BURIAL PLACES OF SAINTS
Traveling for the Urs of the Friends of Allah and visting (ziyaarat) graves is permissible and a means of reward. However, Deobandis, etc. label this Haraam as well.
IN PROOF OF TRA YELING FOR URS
The ruling of traveling is related to its aim. In other words, it is Haraam to travel for something that is Haraam, permissible for something that is permissible, Sunnah for something that is Sunnah and Fardh for something that is Fardh. For example, Hajj is Fardh, so journeying for it is also Fardh. At times, traveling for Jihad or business becomes Sunnah because they are Sunnah practices themselves. Traveling to visit (ziyaarat) the Holy Prophet’sصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. Rauza Sharif is Waajib because the visting itself is Waajib. Traveling to meet friends, join functions of weddings, etc. of family and friends or to consult doctors, etc. is permissible as these things are allowed. And finally, traveling to steal or vandalize is Haraam because these acts are Haraam. In short, if you want 10 know the ruling of a journey, you should look at the intention behind it. Urs is chiefly defined as visiting the grave, and visiting graves is Sunnah. Therefore, it will be counted as Sunnah.
The Holy Quran has spoken of traveling in several places,
“[For] He who leaves his home to migrate (hijrat) towards Allahعزوجل and His Rasoolصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم but was then apprehended by death, his reward is established by Allahعزوجل “16.1- Surah Nisaa, Verse 100
“Traveling in both seasons of winter and summer has dirtied the Quraish.”16.2_ Surah Quraish, Verses 1-2
The above two verses verify the permissibility of traveling for either hijrat or business.
“And remember when Musa said to his servant, “I will not stop until 1 reach the place where two oceans meet.” 16.3 Hadrat Musa علیہ السلام went to meet Hadrat Khidr علیہ السلام Journeying to meet the Mashaaikh is proven from this.
“O My sons! Go and search for Yusuf علیہ السلام and his brother and do not become hopeless of the mercy of Allahعزوجل,” 16.4 Hadrat Yaqoob علیہ السلام ordered his sons to search for Hadrat Yusuf علیہ السلام. Traveling in search of a beloved is proven from this.
Hadrat Yusuf علیہ السلام said, “Take this cloth of mine and place it on the face of my father. His eyesight will be restored,” 16.5 The above verifies traveling to either gain or give treatment to the sick,
“Thereafter, when they all reached Hadrat Yusuf علیہ السلام, he made place for his mother and father”16.6 this proves journeying to meet children.
The children of Hadrat Yaqoob علیہ السلام said to their father “Send our brother with us. We shall bring grain and definitely protect him,’6.1 This proves traveling to gain sustenance (rizq).
Hadrat Musa علیہ السلام was instructed, “Go to Firaun because he has become tyrannical.” 16.8 From this, journeying for the propagation of Islam (tabligh) is confirmed.
The Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم state? “The person who comes out in search of knowledge is on the path of Allahعزوجل.16.8a – Mishkaat, Kitaabul-Ilm
The Ahadith state, “Seek knowledge even if it is in China.” 16.8b
The book Kareema has the following stanza, “To seek knowledge is Fardh on you, and traveling for it is compulsory.” This establishes traveling to gain knowledge,
Shaikh Saadi Shiraazi states. “Go and tour the world before death,” (Gulistaan) Journeying to tour the world is proven by this. Similarly, the Holy Quran states, “O My Beloved, say to the Disbelievers, ”Tour the earth and see the result of the Kuffaar,’ 16.11 Traveling to places that were struck with Divine punishment so that we may learn from them is also proven here.
When such an excessive amount of reasons for traveling have been proven, then surely traveling to visit the tombs (Mazaars) of the Friends of Allahعزوجل has been established more effectively. The Saints are spiritual doctors whose guidance is different. Divine glory can be seen when visiting their Mazaars because those who are close to Allahعزوجل rule the world even after their demise. Visiting Mazaars causes an urge to make ibaadat more excessively and dna is accepted more quickly.
Shaami رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, “Is traveling to visit the graves, just as how the people of today practice journeying to visit Khalilur-Rahman (i.e. Hadrat Ibrahim علیہ السلام ) and Sayed Badawi , Mustahab? I haven’t seen any elucidation on this by any of our Imams. Some Shafee Ulama have prohibited this, deducing it (qiyaas) from journeying to too far Musjids. However Imam Ghazzali رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ has refuted this prohibition and clearly explained the difference between them,” 16.11. – Vol. I, Discussion of Ziyaarat of Graves
Shaami رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ further states, “However, the Friends of Allahعزوجل are different in relation to nearness to Allahعزوجل and giving benefit to those who visit them. This difference is based on their Divine Secrets and knowledge.,,16.11 – Ibid
Discussing the relevance of Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, Allama Shaami رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ quotes this statement of Imam Shafee رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ , “I attain benefit from Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ and also go to his place of burial. Whenever I am faced with a need, I perform two rakaats of Namaaz, to his Mazaar and make dua to Allahعزوجل. My need is then swiftly completed.” 6.14 Introduction of Shaami رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ .
This extract proves a few things,
1. Traveling to visit graves is permissible because Imam Shafee رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ left his home in Palestine and went to Baghdad to visit the burial place of Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ.
2. It is also permissible to attain barkat from the inmate of a Mazaar .
3. Go to their burial places and make dua .
4. And accept the irunate to be one who can fulfill one’s needs.
5. Traveling to visit the Rauza of Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم being necessary is also proven here.
Maulwi Rashid Ahmed writes, ”The Ulama of the Able-Sunnah differ about traveling to visit the Buzurgs. Some rule it to be allowed while others negate its validity. Both groups are from the AhIe-Sunnah. The ruling is contrasting and arguing about it is incorrect. It is impossible for us Muqallids to decide upon a ruling about this.” – Fataawa Rashidia, Vol. I, Pg. 59
Based on this, no Deobandi has the right to prohibit a person from traveling for Urs gatherings because Maulwi Rashid has prohibited disputing this and says that none can decide upon a ruling regarding it.
Traveling should also be permitted according to rational thinking. We have already submitted that the prohibition and permissibility of traveling is known from the intention behind it. Here, the intention behind journeying is to visit the grave, and this is not prohibited. Rather, permission to visit the graves is absolute. The Hadith states Alaa fa Zooroo haa So how will traveling become Haraam? Also, traveling for worldly trade or religious work occurs day and night. This is traveling for the latter.
Can it still be forbidden?
OBJECTIONS and ANSWERS
TO VISITING THE BURIAL PLACES OF SAINTS
OBJECTION 1: ,The Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم” states, “Do not journey to any direction except for three Musjids, Le, Musjid-e-Haraam (Makkah Sharif), BaituI-Muaddas (Jerusalem) and my Musjid (Musjidun-Nabawl in Madinl Sharif),” 16. 5-Mishkaat, Baabul-Masaajid
This Hadith proves that it is not permissible to travel to any place except towards these three Musjids, Visiting of graves is not amongst these.
We journey to the friends of Allahعزوجل because they are doors to His mercy. Why does a sick person travel to a doctor to regain health when Allahعزوجل is the Curer?
Answer – This Hadith means that a person attains more thawaab for Namaaz in these three Musjids. A good deed in Musjid-e-Haraam is equal in reward to 100,000 and a good deed in both Baitul-Muqaddas and Musjidun-Nabawi is equal to 50,000.
Therefore, coming to these Musjids from afar with this intention is allowed because doing so is beneficial. However, traveling to any other Musjid besides these (thinking that thawaab is more there) is totally baseless and impermissible because the reward in all Musjids is equal. An example of this is how people travel from far towards the Jaame-Musjid of Dehli for the last Juma of Rarnadaan thinking that reward is more there. This is not allowed.
So, traveling to another Musjid with the intention of increased reward is what is being stopped. If the Hadith is not interpreted in this manner, then all of the traveling we have proven from the Holy Quran in the chapter prior to this will become Haraam. Today, journeys are undertaken for business, in search of knowledge, worldly affairs and other reasons. Will they all become Haraam? Shaikh Abdul-Haqq رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes in the commentary of this Hadith, “Some Ulama have said that Musjids are what are being discussed here. In other words, journeying to any other Musjid besides these three is not permitted. Places other than Musjids are separate from the discussion of this Hadith.” – Ashiatul-Lam ‘aat
And Mulla Ali Qaari رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes in the annotation of this Hadith, “It is reported in the Sharah of Muslim by Imam Nawawi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ that Abu Muhanunad has said, “Traveling to any place besides these three Musjids is Haraam.” This is incorrect. lliyaul-Uloom states, “Some Ularna have disallowed journeying to visit the burial places of Ulama and several blessed sites. My research into this is that their disallowing of it is incorrect. It is based on the Hadith ‘Alaa fa Zooroo faa’ (i.e. the instruction to visit graves). Traveling to another Musjid besides these three has been prohibited because all Musjids are equal (in reward). However, blessed sites are not. Their barkat is according to rank Will this prohibition also prevent traveling to visit the graves of the Prophets like Hadrat Ibrahim علیہ السلام ,
Hadrat Musa علیہ السلام,Hadrat Yahya علیہ السلام etc? The Friends of Allahعزوجل are included in the ruling of the Prophetsصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. Thus, it will not be impossible that there is a special intention behind journeying them, just as how the visiting of the Learned Scholars are made 10 their lifetimes.” 16. – Mirqaatul-Mafaateeh
Another Hadith states, ”The oceans shouldn’t be traveled on except for those who go for Hajj, Umrah and Jihad.” 16.18 – Mishkaat, Kiiaabul-Jihad fi Fadhaailihi
So, is traveling by sea for a purpose besides these three things Haraam?
In short, the meaning of the Hadith would have to be taken as per our explanation, or else worldly life would be very problematic.
OBJECTION 2: Allahعزوجل and His mercy are in every place. Why do people travel to the burial places of the Saints in search of their needs being fulfilled when Allahعزوجل is The Giver and is constantly ‘With us?
Answer – The friends of Allahعزوجل are doors to His mercy. A train travels along the entire railway line but, in order to board it, you have to go to the station. If you stand anywhere else, it will simply pass you by. Why do you journey for worldly affairs like work, business, etc when Allahعزوجل is The Sustainer? Why does a sick person travel to a doctor to regain health when Allahعزوجل is the Curer? People travel to mountainous regions like Kashmir for a change in climate because this is supportive of good health, but to you the burial places of the Saints are not beneficial for Imaan? How is this?! Why was Hadrat Musa علیہ السلام sent to Hadrat Khidr علیہ السلام? He could have remained as he was.
The Holy Quran states, “ھنالک دعا زکریا ربہ ” 16.19 This proves that Hadrat Zakaria علیہ السلام stood by Sayyidah Maryam رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہا and supplicated for a child. We learn that making dua near a Saint (Sayyidah Maryam رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہا) is a means of it being accepted. For this reason, we make dua at the burial sites of the Friends of Allahعزوجل so that they may be quickly accepted.
OBJECTION 3: People made the tree beneath which the Baltur-Rldhweaa occurred a place of visiting. Hadrat Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ cut it down for this reason. So, taking the burial sites of the Friends of Allahعزوجل as places of visiting is contrary to the practice of Hadrat Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ,
Answer – This is totally wrong. Hadrat Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ didn’t cut the tree dowp. What happened was that people forgot which tree it was and began to visit (ziyaarat) another in this confusion. To save them from this, Hadrat Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ cut down the second tree. If he was against visiting sacred relics, why didn’t he do anything to the blessed hair of the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم his tahband and Qabr Sharif! They too were all made objects and places of visit?
Hadrat Ibn Musayab رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, “My father, who made bai’at (pledged allegiance) to the Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم at the tree, said. “We went for Hajj the following year but the area (where the bai’at took place) was obscured to us.” 16.20 – Muslim, Vol. 2, Kttaabul-Imaaraat, Baabu Bayaani Bat’attr-Ridhwoan and Bukhari, Vol. 2, Baabu Ghazwatil-Ambiya
Bukhari also states, “فلما خرجنا من العام المقبل نسینا ھا فلم نقدر علیھا” When we went there the following year, we forgot and couldn’t find it.” – Ibid
If they couldn’t find the original tree, how could Hadrat Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ have chopped it down?