Abul Fatḥ Muḥammad ibn Abdil-Kareem al-Shahrastāni (d. 548) lived some two centuries before Ibn Taimiyya (d. 728) and ibn al-Qayyim (d. 751), let alone being some seven centuries before MiAW (d. 1206). Despite that, this is what he had to say about idol-worshipers in his encyclopedic work on religions and sects “Al-Milal wan-Niḥal”:
نعلم قطعاً: أن عاقلاً ما لا ينحت جسماً بيده ويصوره صورة، ثم يعتقد أنه إلهه وخالقه، وإله الكل وخالق الكل؛ إذ كان وجوده مسبوقاً بوجود صانعه، وشكله يحدث بصنعة ناحته.
لكن القوم لما عكفوا على التوجه إليها، وربطوا حوائجهم بها من غير إذن وحجة وبرهان وسلطان من الله تعالى= كان عكوفهم ذلك عبادة، وطلبهم الحوائج منها إثبات إلهية لها. وعن هذا كانوا يقولون: ((ما نعبدهم إلا ليقربونا إلى الله زلفى))
“We know for sure that no sane person carves out an object with his own hands, gives it shape and form, and then believes that it (the idol) is his God and Creator and the God and Creator of all things. This cannot be because the idol’s existence was preceded by the existence of its maker, and its shape and form is the work of the one who carved it.
Rather, since they (the idol worshipers) devotedly turn to these idols and put their needs before them without any approval, license, or command from Allah to do so= this devotion of theirs is considered ‘worship’, and invoking them for their needs amounts to deification. And that is why they would say:
((ما نعبدهم إلا ليقربونا إلى الله زلفى))
“We worship them not, save for them to draw us nearer in closeness before Allah” [Zumar: 3]” End Quote.
This is exactly what grave worshipers do with the graves. They gather around the grave in devotion, complete submissiveness and veneration, present some offerings (cloaks, flowers, perfume, food, etc) upon it, and turn to it for their needs – beseeching it, crying, and begging. They don’t call it God, but this act of theirs, in and of itself, amounts to worship and deification i.e. making the grave (or the one buried in it) into a deity (ilāh).
The one who does this might say with his tongue ‘There is no ilāh but Allah’ but he doesn’t understand the true meaning of this testimony; and his beliefs, actions, and words belie it.
ALL CREDITS TO: Shaykh Nabil al-Sindhi (h)