Ibn Al-Qayyim argues for the validity of calling the dead

Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah (691-751AH/ 1292-1350 AD), the second in command after the Grand Sħaykħ of Anthropomorphism (falsely believing Aļļaah is in a place or direction, like created things), Aĥmad Ibn Taymiyyah (661-728 AH/ 1263-1328 AD), makes an astonishing defense for someone that calls a dead person, in his book Ar-Ruuĥ (The Soul). This is astonishing, because it is him and his sħaykh that invented the saying that calling a person is shirk (worship of other than Aļļaah) unless he is alive and present. The following are some quotes from the book:After mentioning that one should fee shy from the dead when visiting the graveyard, because the dead perceive their visitor, he says:

“Even further than that; the dead knows about the works of the living among his relatives and brothers (P. 7).” Then he states:

“On this issue there are many narrations from the companions, and some of the relatives of ˆAbduļļaah ibn Rawaaĥah used to say, ‘O Aļļaah, verily I seek your protection from doing anything that I will be brought in shame for in the eyes of ˆAbduļļaah ibn Rawaaĥah.’ He (they) used to say this after the martyrdom of ˆAbduļļaah.

It is enough evidence regarding all this that the Muslim that visits the dead is called ‘visitor’, for if they did not perceive him, then if would be invalid to call him ‘visitor’. This is because the visited, if they do not know of the visit of the person visiting, then you cannot say, ‘he visited him.’ This is what is understood from ‘visiting’ by all nations. The same is the case for ‘greeting’, for greeting a person that has no perception, and does not know the greeter is impossible, and the Prophet taught his nation that if they visit graves, they should say ‘salaam ˆalaykum (Aļļaah’s peace be upon you) O People of the abodes that are Muslims, and verily we are by the will of Aļļaah catching up with you. May Aļļaah give mercy to those among us and you who go in advance and those that go later. We ask Aļļaah for safety for you and us.‘ In this there is greeting, addressing and calling of something existing that hears, addresses and understands and responds, even if the Muslim does not hear the response. Moreover, if the person prays nearby, then they witness this, know about his prayer, and wish they could do the same….” (Because the life of accountability has ended for them.)

Another place in the book, after mentioning a ĥadiitħ he states:”This ĥadiitħ expresses the speed of the dead’s soul’s movement from the Throne to the Earth, and then from the Earth (back) to its place, and for this Maalik and other imams said ‘the soul is set free, and goes wherever it wishes.‘ Furthermore, what people see of dead peoples’ souls and their coming to them from far away places is something known by people in general, and they do not doubt it…. and Aļļaah knows best.

As for the salam greeting to the people in their graves, and speaking to them; this does not mean that the souls are not in Paradise, and that they are in the graves (only), for the master of Humankind, whose soul is in the highest of places, in the care of Aļļaah; He is (also) in his grave and answers the salam greeting of a muslim. Moreover, Umar (the second kħaliifah, or ruler of all muslims), may Aļļaah give him mercy, agreed that the souls of the martyrs are in Paradise, and yet they are greeted at their graves, just like other people who have passed away. Similarly, the Prophet taught us to greet them, and the companions used to greet the martyrs of the battle of Uĥud. Moreover, it has been firmly established that their souls are in Paradise, going wherever they please, as mentioned earlier.

Your mind should not be so narrow as to not accept that the soul is in Paradise going wherever it pleases, and yet hears the greeting of a Muslim to him at his grave, and then goes down to answer it. The soul is another matter than the body (Ar-Ruuĥ, P. 101-102).”

Then he says:
“Among the things that one should know is that what we have mentioned regarding the soul is relative to the individual souls’ power, weakness, bigness, and smallness. So the great and large soul has among what we have mentioned what the lesser soul does not have, and you can see how the rules of the souls differ greatly in this world according to the souls’ differences in modality, power, slowness, speed and getting help…….. This is how it was while captivated in its body, so how would it be if it became independent and departed from the body, and its powers were gathered, and it was at the outset a lofty, pure and big soul with high sense of purpose??? This soul has after the departure a whole other importance and other actions. In this regard dreams have been collaboratively mass narrated among human kind about the actions of souls after their death, actions they were not able to do while in their bodies, such as one, two or a few souls defeating entire armies and the like. Very many people have seen the Prophet with Abu Bakr and ˆUmar in their sleep having defeated the armies of kufr and injustice, and then their armies are overwhelmed and crushed despite large numbers, and the weakness and small numbers of the Muslims (Ar-Ruuĥ, P. 102-103).”

So if this is what Ibn Al-Qayyim believes, then where is the shirk in calling a dead person for help? After all, as the author states, the great soul is even more able to help after death, than before death, and has perception of hearing all the way from Paradise to his grave. Even more so, who in his right mind will claim, after believing all this, that traveling to visit the Prophet’s grave is forbidden???

قال المؤلف :
-حدثنى محمد حدثنى أحمد بن سهل حدثنى رشد بن سعد عن رجل عن يزيد بن أبى حبيب ان سليم بن عمير مر على مقبرة وهو حاقن قد غلبه البول فقال له بعض أصحابه لو نزلت إلى هذه المقابر فبلت في بعض حفرها فبكى ثم قال سبحان الله والله إنى لأستحي من الأموات كما استحي من الأحياء ولولا أن الميت يشعر بذلك لما استحيا منه
-وأبلغ من ذلك أن الميت يعلم بعمل الحى من أقاربه وإخوانه
الروح  ج 1   ص 7-وهذا باب في آثار كثيرة عن الصحابة وكان بعض الأنصار من أقارب عبد الله بن رواحة يقول اللهم إنى أعوذ بك من عمل أخزى به عند عبد الله بن رواحة كان يقول ذلك بعد أن استشهد عبد الله ويكفي في هذا تسمية المسلم عليهم زائرا ولولا أنهم يشعرون به لما صح تسميته زائرا فإن المزور إن لم يعلم بزيارة من زاره لم يصح أن يقال زاره هذا هو المعقول من الزيارة عند جميع الأمم وكذلك السلام عليهم أيضا فإن السلام على من لا يشعر ولا يعلم بالمسلم محال وقد علم النبي أمته إذا زاروا القبور أن يقولوا سلام عليكم أهل الديار من المؤمنين والمسلمين وإنا إن شاء الله بكم لاحقون يرحم الله المستقدمين منا ومنكم والمستأخرين نسأل الله لنا ولكم العافية وهذا السلام والخطاب والنداء لموجود يسمع ويخاطب ويعقل ويردو إن لم يسمع المسلم الرد وإذا صلى الرجل قريبا منهم شاهدوه وعلموا صلاته وغبطوه على ذلك
الروح  ج 1   ص 8
-ففي هذا الحديث بيان سرعة انتقال أرواحهم من العرش إلى الثرى ثم انتقالها من الثرى إلى مكانها ولهذا قال مالك وغيره من الأئمة أن الروح مرسلة تذهب حيث شاءت وما يراه الناس من أرواح الموتى ومجيئهم إليهم من المكان البعيد أمر يعلمه عامة الناس ولا يشكون فيه والله أعلم

وأما السلام على أهل القبور وخطابهم فلا يدل على أن أرواحهم ليست في الجنة وأنها على أفنية القبور فهذا سيد ولد آدم الذي روحه في أعلى عليين مع الرفيق الأعلى عند قبره ويرد سلام المسلم عليه وقد وافق أبو عمر رحمه الله على أن أرواح الشهداء في الجنة ويسلم عليهم عند قبورهم كما يسلم على غيرهم كما علمنا النبي أن نسلم عليهم وكما كان الصحابة يسلمون على شهداء أحد وقد ثبت أن أرواحهم في الجنة تسرح حيث شاءت كما تقدم ولا يضيق عقلك عن كون الروح في الملأ الأعلى تسرح في الجنة حيث شاءت وتسمع سلام المسلم عليها عند قبرها وتدنو حتى ترد عليه السلام وللروح شأن آخر غير شأن البدن

الروح  ج 1   ص 101-102
-فصل ومما ينبغي أن يعلم أن ما ذكرنا من شأن الروح يختلف بحسب  حال الأرواح من القوة والضعف والكبر والصغر فللروح العظيمة الكبيرة من ذلك ما ليس لمن هو دونها وأنت ترى أحكام الأرواح في الدنيا كيف تتفاوت أعظم تفاوت بحسب تفارق الأرواح في كيفياتها وقواها وإبطائها وإسراعها والمعاونة لها فللروح المطلقة من أسر البدن وعلائقه وعوائقه من التصرف والقوة والنفاذ والهمة وسرعة الصعود إلى الله والتعلق بالله ما ليس للروح المهينة المحبوسة في علائق البدن وعوائقه فذا كان هذا وهي محبوسة في بدنها فكيف إذا تجردت وفارقته واجتمعت فيها قواها وكانت في أصل شأنها روحا علية زكيه كبيرة ذات همة عالية فهذه لها بعد مفارقة البدن شأن آخر وفعل آخر   وقد تواترت الرؤيا في أصناف بنى آدم على فعل الأرواح بعد موتها ما لا تقدر على مثله حال اتصالها بالبدن من هزيمة الجيوش الكثيرة بالواحد والاثنين والعدد القليل ونحو ذلك وكم قد رئى النبي ومعه أبو بكر وعمر في النوم قد هزمت أرواحهم عساكر الكفر والظلم فإذا بجيوشهم مغلوبة مكسورة مع كثرة عددهم وعددهم وضعف المؤمنين وقلتهم
الروح  ج 1   ص 102-103

–الروح في الكلام على أرواح الأموات والأحياء بالدلائل من الكتاب والسنة ، اسم المؤلف:  أبو عبد الله شمس الدين محمد بن أبي بكر بن أيوب بن سعد الزرعي الدمشقي الوفاة: 751 هـ ، دار النشر : دار الكتب العلمية – بيروت – 1395 – 1975

مرقاة المفاتيح ج8/ص216 : وفي شرح الشمائل لابن حجر قال ابن القيم عن شيخه ابن تيمية   أنه ذكر شيئاً بديعاً وهو أنه لما رأى ربه واضعاً يده بين كتفيه أكرم ذلك الموضع بالعذبة   قال العراقي لم نجد لذلك أصلاً يعني من السنة وقال ابن حجر بل هذا من قبل رأيهما وضلالهما إذ هو مبني على ما ذهبا إليه وأطالا في الاستدلال له والحط على أهل السنة في نفيهم له وهو إثبات الجهة والجسمية لله تعالى ولهما في هذا المقام من القبائح وسوء الاعتقاد ما تصم عنه الآذان ويقضي عليه بالزور والبهتان قبحهما الله وقبح من قال بقولهما
مرقاة المفاتيح شرح مشكاة المصابيح ، اسم المؤلف:  علي بن سلطان محمد القاري الوفاة: 1014هـ ، دار النشر : دار الكتب العلمية – لبنان/ بيروت – 1422هـ – 2001م ، الطبعة : الأولى ، تحقيق : جمال عيتاني

10 Responses to Ibn Al-Qayyim argues for the validity of calling the dead

  1. Attari says:

    Barak Allahu feekum Sheikh.

    May Allah deliver benefits at your hands for Muslims. Ameen, bi’hurmati Nabiyyil Kareem, 3alaihi wa 3ala aalihis’salawaatu wat tasleem.

    The first link, which says “Sheikh of Anthropomorphism” doesn’t work. It takes to a google dead end.

    Salam Alaikum

  2. Attari says:

    Can you please also advice regarding Hafiz Ibn Kathir. Scholars seem to be divided if he was indeed a ‘true’ disciple of ibn Taymiya (like ibn Qayyim al-Jawziy) OR if he just studied certain matters under him but was on the aqidah of the Ahlus Sunnah.

    As I know, he did defend ibn Taymiya on the matter of pronouncing three divorces in one go as being counted as one divorce. However, I have personally seen both wahabis and Sunnis having equal reverence for him. Also I’ve heard he wrote a magnificient treatise on the blessed Mawled.

    Barak Allahu feekum again.

  3. Slave of Allah says:

    As-salamu ‘aleykum, ya fadilata sh-shaykh.

    I believe that this Ibn Hajar is not ‘Asqalani, but Ibn Hajar al-Haythami or al-Haytami. But i may be not correct, of course. Allahu A’lam.

    Barakallahu feek for this great material.

  4. ahmed says:

    salam alykum

    mashaAllah excellent blog.

  5. Ibn Katħiir was a Sunni, but was afflicted by infatuation with the sħaykħ of his youth, Ibn Taymiyyah. Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy mentions in Ad-Durar Al-Kaaminah that Ibn Kathiir had a conflict with Ibn Al-Qayyimand that he told the latter, “You hate me because I am Asħˆariyy!” Moreover, Ibn Katħiir was in charge of Daar Al-Ĥadiitħ Al-Asħrafiyyah, and a prerequisite for that is to be asħˆariyy.

  6. Thanks for the note about the identity of Ibn Ĥajar. The other Ibn Ĥajar is Haytami only, not Haytħamiy. The latter’s alias is Nuuru-d-Diin. These two are often confused.

  7. faqir says:

    Ibn Qayyim on Visiting and Greeting the Deceased and Their Interaction with the Living:

    Another proof of this [the dead hearing the living] is also the practice of people (`amal al-nas) formerly and to the present time of instructing the dead in his grave (talqin al mayyit fi qabrihi). If the dead did not hear that and did not benefit by it there would be no advantage in it and it would be done in vain. Imam Ahmad was asked about it and he considered it good (istahsanahu) and adduced for it a proof from usage (ihtajja `alayhi bi al-`amal).

    There is also related on this subject a weak narration which al-Tabarani related in his Mu`jam from Abu Umama who said that the Messenger of Allah said, ‘When one of your brothers dies and you have smoothed over the earth upon his grave, let one of you stand at the head of the grave and say, “O So and so Son of So and so” for he will hear, though he cannot reply – and then say, “O So and So, son of So and so,” and he will say, “Direct me, Allah have mercy upon you mercy on you,” though you will not hear it, but should say, “Remember the creed upon which you departed from this world, the testification that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His slave and messenger, and that you accepted Allah as your Lord, Islam as your religion, Muhammad as your prophet, and the Koran as your exemplar.” For then the two angels Munkar and Nakir will take each other’s hand and say, “Let us go, what is there to keep us beside someone who has been instructed how to make his plea?” A Man said, “O Messenger of Alllah, what if one does not know the name of his mother?” and he answered, ‘Then one should mention his descent from his mother Eve, saying, “O so and so son of Eve”

    Although this hadith has not been established (lam yathbut), nevertheless the continuity of its practice in every country and time without objection is sufficient warrant for its performance. For Allah certainly never caused a custom (`ada) to persist so that a people who encompass the eastern and western parts of the earth, and who are the most perfect of peoples in intelligence, and the most comprehensive of them in sciences, should agree to address one who neither hears nor reasons, and approve of that, without some mistrustful one of that people disapproving it! But, the first established it for the last (sannahu al-awwalu li al-akhir), and the last imitates the first therein (wa yaqtadi fihi al-akhiru bi al-awwal). And were it not that the one who is addressed hears, this act would have the status of address to earth and wood and stone and the non-existent — and this, even if one person might approve of it, the learned would unanimously abhor it and condemn it.

    Abu Dawud related in his Sunan with a chain to which there is no objection: The Prophet attended the funeral of a man, and when he was buried he said: “Ask confirmation for your brother, for he is now being questioned.” So he gave information that he was being questioned at that time. And since he was being asked, then he could hear the dictation. And it is valid on the Prophet’s authority that the dead one hears the beating of their sandals when they turn to leave.

    `Abd al-Haqq [Ibn al-Kharrat al-Ishbili] related on the authorities of one of the saints that he said: “A brother of mine died and I saw him in my sleep. I said: O brother, what was your state when you were placed in your grave? He said: Someone kept coming to me with a bright flame of fire. If it had not been that someone made du`a for me I would have perished.”

    Shabib ibn Shayba said: “My mother enjoined me at her death saying: O my son, when you bury me, stand at my grave and say: O mother of Shabib, repeat: la ilaha illallah. So when I buried her, I stood at her grave and said: O mother of Shabib, repeat: la ilaha illallah. Then I departed. When night came I saw her in my sleep and she said: O my son, I was on the point of perishing but for the expression: la ilaha illallah overtaking me. So you have observed my last wish, O my son.

    Ibn Abu al-Dunya related concerning Tamadur, daughter of Sahl, wife of Ayyub ibn Uyayna, who said “I saw Sufyan ibn Uyayna in a dream and he said, ‘May Allah recompense my brother Ayyub with good on my behalf, for he visits me often, and he was with me today.’ Ayyub said, ‘Yes, I was present at the cemetery today, and I went to his grave.”’

    And it is valid on the authority of Hammad ibn Salama on the authority of Thabit on the authority of Shahr ibn Hawshab, Sab ibn Jatham and Awf that Sab and Awf had an agreement. Awf had said to Sab, “O my brother, whoever of us dies before his companion, let him appear to the other.” Sab asked, “Is that possible!” Awf said that it was. Sab died and Awf saw him in a dream. Awf asked Sab, “O my brother, is that you?” Sab said, “Yes.” Awf asked, “What happened to you [in the grave]?” Sab said, “I was forgiven after misfortunes.” Awf said that he saw a black shining place on his neck and asked, “O my brother, what is this?” Sab said, “Ten dinars which I asked for as an advance from so and so, the Jewish man. The ten dinars are in my horn. Give them to him. And know, O my brother, that not a single event has taken place among my people since my death, without news of it reaching me, even the fact that a she-cat of ours died a few days ago. And know that my daughter will die within six days so be kind to her.”’

    When I awoke in the morning I asked myself, “Truly this was real?” I went to Sab’s people and they welcomed me complaining that they had not seen me since Sab’s death. I made excuses like people do. Then I looked at the horn, took it down and emptied out what was in it. I found the purse with the ten dinars in it. I sent the ten dinars to the Jewish man with a note asking if Sab owed him anything. The Jewish man replied, “Allah have mercy on Sab. He was one of the best of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah. The dinars were his.” I then asked Sab’s family how they were and what had happened since Sab’s death. They said, “Yes a she-cat died a few days ago.” I asked, “Where is Sab’s daughter?” They replied, “She is playing.” Then she was brought and I felt her. She was feverish! I said, “Be kind to her.” And she died within six days.

    This is the discernment of Awf who was one of the Companions when he executed the will of al-Sab ibn Jathama after Sab’s death. Awf knew the soundness of what had occurred because of the accompanying circumstances of which he was told, that of the dinars being ten in number and in the horn. Then he asked the Jewish man and his statement agreed with what he had seen in his dream. Awf, being convinced of the soundness of the affair, gave the Jewish man the dinars.

    This discernment is becoming only to the most discerning and most learned of men, who are the Companions of the Messenger of Allah. Perhaps the majority of the later people would deny it saying, “How is it lawful for Awf to transfer the dinars from the survivors of Sab (when they belong to his orphans and his heirs), to a Jewish man because of a dream.”

    A similar story of the discernment by which Allah distinguished them; rather than people in general, is the story of Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas. Abu Umar ibn Abd al-Barr and other related it. Abu Umar said, “Abd al-Warith ibn Sufyan told us that Qasim ibn Asbagh told us that Abu al-Zanba Rawh ibn al-Faraz told us that Said ibn Ufair and Abd al-Aziz Yahya al-Madani told us that Malik ibn Anas told us on the authority of Ibn Shihab on the authority of Ismail ibn Muhammad Thabit al-Ansari on the authority of Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas, that the messenger of Allah said to him, “O Thabit, are you not willing to live worthy of praise, be killed a martyr, and enter the Garden?” Malik said, “Thabit ibn Qays died a martyr on the day of the battle of al-Yamama.” Abu Umar said that Hisham ibn Ammar related on the authority of Sadaqa ibn Khalid that Abd al-Rahman ibn Yazid ibn Jabir told him that Ata al-Khurasani told him that the daughter of Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas told him that when the verse, “O you who believe, do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet’ (49:2)”, was revealed, her father entered his house and shut himself in a room. The Messenger of Allah missed her father and sent to him, asking how he was. Her father said, “I am a man mighty of voice, I fear that my work is useless.” The Prophet said, “You are not of them; rather, you live well and you will die well.” Then Allah revealed, “Truly Allah dislikes the proud boaster;” (31:17). So her father shut himself in his room and began to weep. The messenger of Allah missed him and sent to him. Her father said to him, “O Messenger of Allah, truly I love beauty, and I love to rule over my people.” The Prophet said, “You are not of them; rather, you live worthy of praise. You will die a martyr, and enter the Garden.”

    She said, “When the day of the battle of Tamama came, he went forth with Khalid ibn al-Walid against Musayliman. When they met Thabit and Salim, client of Abu Hudhayfa, said to each other that they had not strived enough when they had been with the Messenger of Allah. Then each one dug a ditch for himself, and they stood fast and fought until they were killed. That day Thabit had worn a very fine coat of mail. One of the Muslims passed by him [as he lay dead] and took the coat of mail.

    When another Muslim from the army had fallen asleep, Thabit came to him in a dream and said to him, “I gave you a last command. Beware lest you say, ‘This is a dream,’ and allow it to go unanswered. When I was killed yesterday, a man passed by me and took my coat of mail. [Thabit then proceeded to give a description of the man who stole his coat of mail was.] His place is that of the farthest of men. In his tent there is a horse prancing to the limits of its tether. The man inverted a wide-mouthed water jar to conceal the coat of mail and above the jar there is a camel-saddle. So go to Khalid and command him to send for my coat of mail and take it. And when you have come to the Khalifa at Madina, that is, Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, tell him that I have such and such debts, and so and so of my slaves is freed, and so and so also.’ The man went to Khalid and told him. Khalid sent for the coat of mail. He brought it and told Abu Bakr of his dream, and Abu Bakr executed his last command.” He said, “We do not know anyone whose command had been carried out after his death except Thabit ibn Qays.”

    This ends what Abu Umar related. Khalid and Abu Bakr al-Siddiq and the latter’s companions agreed to carry out this dream, to take the coat of mail from him in whose hand it was, because of this dream. The is pure jurisprudence accepted by Abu Hanifa and Ahmad and Malik.

    […..]

    The law of Islam confirms what is similar to this, and testifies to its soundness. And behold judgment by means of physiognomy and the deduction of relationship by means of it, because of its reliance upon the circumstances of resemblance, despite their ambiguity and the concealment of them generally. The point is that the circumstances which arose in the dream of Awf ibn Malik and the story of Thabit ibn Qays, do not fall far short of these circumstances. Rather they are stronger than simply the faces of the bricks, the tying places of the ropes, and the validity of the one claimant’s right to the goods, rather than the other’s, in the problem of the couple and the two workmen. This is clear, without doubt, and the inherent nature of people and their powers of reason testify to its soundness, and with Allah is help.

    The intention is to answer the questioner. And truly when the dead one knows something like these particulars and their minutiae, then his knowledge of the living one’s visiting him, and his greeting him and his prayer for him, is more fitting and reasonable.

    [Translation excerpted from Encyclopedia of Islamic Doctrine, Vol 3, pgs 151-158]

  8. Attari says:

    Subhan Allah. Thats so weird ibn al-Qayyim accepts/condones talqin. There’s heaps of wahabis who are anti-talqin, if not all.

  9. gnosis says:

    shaykh muhammad al-yaqoubi mentioned once that the opinions of ibn al-qayyim as found in kitab al-ruh and elsewhere which are more in line with orthodoxy, changed later on when he became more influenced and swayed by his teacher ibn taymiya. i am quite sure the shaykh mentioned this recently in the uk when he was covering the shifa of qadi iyad.

  10. Possibly, but there is clear anthropomorphism in the book also.

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