Sunday, 2 November 2014



Veneration of Graves led the Past Nations Astray
“Verily, We have sent among every nation a messenger (proclaiming): ‘Worship Allah (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Tagoot (all false deities, etc.).”[1]

Allah, the Most Merciful, sent Messengers with the pure message of Tawheed to every nation for their guidance. They called their nations towards abandoning of Shirk and returning to Allah in repentance. However, as time passed, Shirk gradually crept into the beliefs of the people, and teachings of the Prophets were either changed or lost. One of the major avenues, by which Shaytaan was successful in leading people astray, was through veneration and exaggeration in the honor and respect of pious people. Shaytaan inspired the people to build idols and memorials, and subsequently led them to the worship of the dead.

The prominent commentator of the Qur’aan, Abdullah Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu)[2] said regarding the verse, “They said to each other: ‘Do not leave your gods! Do not give up Wadd and Suwaa, nor Yaghooth, Ya’ooq and Nasr!”[3] (he said): “These (Wad, Suwaa’, Yaqhoot, Ya’ooq and Nasr) were among the idols of Prophet Nooh’s (alaihi as-salaam) nation, which in time ended up among the Arabs… These idols were named after some righteous men among Nooh’s people. When these righteous men died, Shaytaan inspired the people to make statues of them, named after them. These statues were placed in their favorite meeting places as reminders of righteousness, and no one of that generation worshiped them. However, when that generation died off, the purpose of the statues was forgotten. The following generation from then on started to worship them.”[4]

Ibn Jarir at-Tabaree (the author of the famous Tafseer at-Tabaree) mentions the explanation of Mujahid about the verse, “Have you then considered al-Lat and al-Uzza. [5][6] “He (al-Laat) used to serve the pilgrims by preparing Seewaq (fine flour of barley or wheat mixed with water and ghee) for them. After his death, the people began to stay and confine at his grave for the purpose of reward.”[7]

Imam Ibn Katheer (rahimahullah) mentions in Qasas al-Ambiya: “Ibn Abi Hatim related this story, “Waddan was a righteous man, who was loved by his people. When he died, they withdrew to his grave in the land of Babylonia and were overwhelmed by sadness. When Iblees (name of Shaytaan) saw their sorrow caused by his death, he disguised himself in the form of a man saying, ‘I have seen your sorrow because of this man’s death; can I make a statue like him which could be put in your meeting place to make you remember him?’ They said: ‘Yes.’ So, he made a statue like him. They put it in their meeting place in order to be reminded of him. When Iblees saw their interest in remembering him, he said: ‘Can I build a statue of him in the home of each one of you so that he would be in everyone’s house and you could remember him?’ They agreed. Their children learned about and saw what they were doing. They also learned about their remembrance of him, until they took him to be a deity and worshiped him instead of Allah. So, the first to be worshiped instead of Allah was Waddan, the idol which they named thus.”[8]

This shows that exaggeration in love for the righteous led to the veneration of their graves, and in turn became the first step towards open idol worship.

[1] Soorah an-Nahl (16): 36.
[2] Abdullah Ibn Abbas is one of the prominent commentators (Mufassiroon) of the Qur’aan among the Sahabah (radhi allahu anhu). The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) once embraced Abdullah and said, “O Allah, give him a deep understanding of the Religion and make him skillful in Tafseer (interpretation).” [Saheeh al-Bukharee (Eng. Trans.) vol. 1, no: 10, Saheeh Muslim (Eng. Trans.) vol. 4, no: 6055] In spite of Ibn Abbas’s youth, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) conferred on him the title of “Tarjumaan al-Qur’aan” (Explainer of the Qur’aan) [Saheeh al-Bukharee (Eng. Trans.) vol. 1, no: 75 and vol. 5, nos: 100-101]
[3] Soorah Nooh (71): 23.
[4] Saheeh al-Bukharee (Eng. Trans.) vol.6, p.414-415, no.442. Also see Kitaab al-Waseelah by Shaikh ul-Islaam, Ibn Taymiyyah (p.238).
[5] Al-Lat and al-Uzza were two idols of righteous people.
[6] Soorah an-Najm (53): 19.
[7] Kitaab at-Tawheed by Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab (Eng. Trans.) p.86.
[8] Stories of the Prophets (Qissas al-Ambiyaa) (Eng. Trans.) p.39.


There is an accusation by the Khawarij (Wahhabi/Salafi) that implies that the people of Prophet Noah worshipped idols carved of deceased PIOUS people and that the Sunnis today are doing same worshipping PIOUS Auliyah/PIRs in their graves.

Sahih Bukhari

Narrated Ibn Abbas:

All the idols which were worshipped by the people of Noah were worshipped by the Arabs later on.
As for the idol Wadd, it was worshipped by the tribe of Kalb at Daumat-al-Jandal;
Suwa' was the idol of (the tribe of) Murad and then by Ban, Ghutaif at Al-Jurf near Saba;
Yauq was the idol of Hamdan, and Nasr was the idol of Himyr, the branch of Dhi-al-Kala.'
The names (of the idols) formerly belonged to some pious men of the people of Noah, and when they died Satan inspired their people to (prepare and place idols at the places where they used to sit, and to call those idols by their names. The people did so, but the idols were not worshipped till those people (who initiated them) had died and the origin of the idols had become obscure, whereupon people began worshipping them.
[Sahih Bukhari: Volume 6, Book 60, Number 442 (Online) or Hadith No. 4920]

The chain of narration is as follows:

Imam Bukhari
Ibrahim bin Musa
Ibn Juraij
Ibn Abbas
(Allah be pleased with him)

The following are statements of the Muhadithin (Hadith Masters) on this narration. 

1) Allamah Badar-ud-Din Ayni in the commentary of this hadith writes: "Within the sanad of this hadith, there is mention of Hisham. This is Hisham bin Yusuf Al-San'ani. And Ibn Juraij, this is Abdul Malik bin Abdul-Aziz bin Juraij. And Ata, this is A’ta Al Khurasani. Note this is not A'ta bin Abhi Riba and neither A'ta bin Yasar. Therefore this is the reason this hadith is Munqati’ (A chain of narrators from which one or more than one narrator is removed or disconnected.) because A’ta Al Khurasani did not hear (receive) this hadith from Hazrat Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him). Also Abu Masud Dimishqi has said that Imam Bukhari has possibily taken this A'ta to have been A'ta bin Abhi Riba which is not the case. And Ibn Juraij has not heard this tafsir from A’ta Al Khurasani which highlights another break in the chain. In fact Ibn Juraij took a book from the son of A’ta Al Khurasani and studied it."
Also Allamah Ayni writes "that Saleh bin Ahmad narrated from Ibn Al-Madini that Ibn Al-Madini had asked Yaya bin Saeed about this hadith of Ibn Juraij from A’ta Al Khurasani and he replied those are all Da'if (weak)." [Allamah Badar-ud-Din Ayni, Umdatul Qari, Volume 19, Pg 377, Dar-ul-Kotob Al-Ilmiyah Beirut]

2) Imam Ibn Rajab Humble writes: "A’ta Al Khurasani did not hear this hadith from Hazrat Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him)." Again emphasising the breakage in the chain. [Fath-ul-Bari, Commentary Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Pg 197]

3) Hafiz Ibn Hajar Asqalani in the commentary of this Hadith writes: "It is Munqati’ (broken chain) because A’ta Al Khurasani never met Hazrat Ibn Abbas (RA)." [Fath-ul-Bari, Chapter of Tafsir, Commentary of Sahih Bukhari]

4) Imam Saleh bin Ahmad bin Humble writes in Al-Illal: "Imam Ali bin Madini asked Imam Yaya Al-Qattan about hadith of Ibn Juraij from A’ta Al Khurasani and he got the reply the hadith is Da'if (weak). [Kitabul Al-Illal]

5) Allamah Shahabuddin Qastalani writes: "A’ta Al Khurasani never met Hazrat Ibn Abbas (RA) and Ibn Juraij also never met A’ta Al Khurasani." [Arshad-as-Sari, Commentary of Sahih Bukhari]

6) Shaykh Wahiduzaman (an authority in the Salafi school of thought), he writes: "A’ta Al Khurasani is da'if (weak). Secondly Ibn Juraij never heard this narration from A’ta Al Khurasani. In fact Ibn Juraij had got the book of A’ta Al Khurasani from his son Usman. Perhaps he saw this hadith in there. And perhaps Imam Bukhari has considered it to be A'ta bin Abhi Riba. This is a mistake by Imam Bukhari and no matter how big an Imam becomes, sometimes they are able to make mistakes. Don't forget it is the Swimmer that drowns in the water and it's the Horse Racer who falls". [Tayser ul-Bari, Volume 4, Pg 75]

7) Imam Sirajuddin Abu Hafas Umar bin Ali bin Ahmad Ansari Shafaie (Hafiz Ibn Mulaqqan) who is the teacher of Hafiz Ibn Hajar Asqalani has the same opinion that in this hadith to consider A’ta Al Khurasani to be A'ta bin Abhi Riba is wrong. And it should be noted that it definitely is A’ta Al Khurasani and all hadith from A’ta Al Khurasani that Ibn Juraij has narrated are all weak. [Al-Tawzi Li Sharah Al-Jamiah Al-Sahih (Commentary of Sahih Bukhari)]

8 ) Imam Abu Dawud (the famous Hadith Master) says: "A’ta Al Khurasani never met or seen Hazrat Ibn Abbas (RA)." [Al-Murasil Li Abu Dawud, Pg 408, Chapter of Wasayah (Wills)]

9) Imam Bayqhi has stated exactly the same thing that: "A’ta Al Khurasani never met Hazrat Ibn Abbas (RA)." [As Sunan Al-Kubra, Vol 7, pg 307]

10) Imam Ibn Hibban (famous Hadith Master) says: "A’ta Al Khurasani never heard anything from Hazrat Ibn Abbas (RA)." [kitabul Majruhin, Vol2, Page 250]

11) Shaykh Ibn Hazam Zahiri (considered an authority by the Salafis) writes: "A’ta Al Khurasani never heard from Abdullah bin Amar bin Al-Aas (RA) and also he never heard from any other Sahabi (Companion) other than Hazrat Anas (Allah be pleased with him)." [Al-Muhalla bil Ah'saar]

12) Imam Abu Hatim writes: "A’ta Al Khurasani never heard anything from Hazrat Ibn Abbas (RA) though has seen Hazrat Ibn Umar (RA) but never heard anything from him either." [Al-Murasil]

13) Imam Ahmad Al-Kannani says: "A’ta Al Khurasani never heard from Hazrat Ibn Abbas (RA)." [Misbah Az-Zu'jahjah, Volume 3, Pg 225, Kitabul Adahi (Chapter of Sacrifice)]

So in conclusion it comes to light from all these references of the Grand Muhaddithin of the past that A’ta Al Khurasani never heard anything from Hazrat Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) therefore confirms the hadith is Munqati’ (severely broken) and daif (severely weak).

14) Imam Fakihi has written this narration using the chain from Muhammad bin Saur (which goes and meets Ibn Juraij and A’ta Al Khurasani) in his book Akhbare Makkah. He goes on to say there is the same weakness to be seen:
a) A’ta Al Khurasani never heard anything from Hazrat Ibn Abbas (RA) proving the hadith is Munqati’ (broken chain)
b) According to Imam Yahya bin Saeed, all narrations from A’ta Al Khurasani that Ibn Juraij has taken are all weak.
c) According to Imam Abu Masud, Ibn Juraij never heard this from A’ta Al Khurasani but has taken it from his son Usman and probably seen it from him.
[Akhbare Makkah Lil Fakihi]

15) Saleem Ullah Khan Deobandi has written exactly the same things about this hadith:
a) Imam Bukhari has made a mistake here and taken this narration thinking it is A'ta bin Abhi Riba but yet know it is A’ta Al Khurasani.
b) Ibn Juraij never heard this narration directly from A’ta Al Khurasani but in fact Ibn Juraij has taken it from the book of A’ta Al Khurasani which was in the possession of his son Usman.
c) This narration by A’ta Al Khurasani does not meet the conditions of Imam Bukhari therefore Imam Bukhari should not have mentioned in his Sahih. But clearly Imam Bukhari did not realise.
d) However in summary, it is definitely known amongst the Muhadithin that the A'ta in his this narration is definitely A’ta Al Khurasani and by narrating this hadith Imam Bukhari has made a misunderstanding. [Kashful Bari, Kitabul Tafsir, Pg 699-700, Maktaba Farookiya Kirachi]

All the discussion thus far has been based on narrations and writings of the Grand Muhadithin of the past. But lets now consider this from a different angle. 

We know that these idols were present during the time of Sayidena Nuh (Alayhissalam). The aya (verse) of the Holy Qur'an [71:23] confirms this.

But the hadith states at the beginning "All the idols which were worshipped by the people of Noah were worshipped by the Arabs later on". 

Now how can this even be possible? 

Within the Holy Qur'an we learn that everything was destroyed and only Prophet Noah (Alayhissalam) and those people, animals and possessions that embarked the Ark were saved. And further more all were believers in the Oneness of Almighty Allah.

So how did these idols reach the Arabs as claimed in the hadith? 

Imam Fakharuddin Razi (rah) questions this in the same way in his discussion in his Tafsir Kabir.

But Alhumdolillah when the narration is a fabrication we don't need to dwell any further.

Post: Edited by ADHM

Religions of the Arabs

Most of the Arabs had complied with the call of Ishmael (peace be upon him) , and professed the religion of his father Abraham (peace be upon him) . They had worshipped Allâh, professed His Oneness and followed His religion a long time until they forgot part of what they had been reminded of. However, they still maintained such fundamental beliefs such as monotheism as well as various other aspects of Abraham’s religion, until the time when a chief of Khuza‘a, namely ‘Amr bin Luhai, who was renowned for righteousness, charity, reverence and care for religion, and was granted unreserved love and obedience by his tribesmen, came back from a trip to Syria where he saw people worship idols, a phenomenon he approved of and believed it to be righteous since Syria was the locus of Messengers and Scriptures, he brought with him an idol (Hubal) which he placed in the middle of Al-Ka‘bah and summoned people to worship it. Readily enough, paganism spread all over Makkah and, thence, to Hijaz, people of Makkah being custodians of not only the Sacred House but the whole Haram as well. A great many idols, bearing different names, were introduced into the area. [Mukhtasar Seerat-ar-Rasool p.12]

An idol called ‘Manat’, for instance, was worshipped in a place known as Al-Mushallal near Qadid on the Red Sea.

Another, ‘Al-Lat’ in Ta’if, a third,Al-‘Uzza’ in the valley of Nakhlah, and so on and so forth.

Polytheism prevailed and the number of idols increased everywhere in Hijaz. It was even mentioned that ‘Amr bin Luhai, with the help of a jinn companion who told him that the idols of Noah’s folkWadd, Suwa‘, Yaguth, Ya‘uk and Nasr – were buried in Jeddah, dug them out and took them to Tihama. Upon pilgrimage time, the idols were distributed among the tribes to take back home. [Bukhari 1/222]


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