The Efforts Of The Scholars Of Yemen In Refutation Of Grave Veneration

The scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Athar In Yemen have provided one of the best works in refutation of the Qubooris such as the Zaydis, Twelvers, and Sufis (all three are united in the heresy of building lavish structures over graves and venerating the buried saints).

From the contemporary scholars, one can mention Shaykh Dr. Ahmad ibn Hassan al-Mu’allim, a Shafi’i-Athari scholar from Hadhramawt, southern Yemen, a region that is plagued by Quboorism and from which the likes of Habib ‘Umar bin Hafiz, ‘Ali al-Jifi (UAE-Zionist apologists and admirers of Putin’s lapdog), and other batini qubooris have emerged.

Shaykh al-Mu’allim studied under many major scholars such as Shaykh Nasir al-Din al-Albani, Shaykh Muhammad al-Amin al-Shinqiti, and others. His doctoral thesis was on Grave worship in Yemen and he has compiled a number of books in refutation of Shia (Zaydi and Twelver) and Sufi grave veneration rituals.


Shaykh Dr. Ahmad ibn Hassan al-Mu’allim

Shaykh Dr. Ahmad ibn Hassan al-Mu’allim al-Yemeni mentions in his book ‘al-Qubooriyyah (grave veneration/grave worship): its inception, its effect, and the stance of the scholars with regards to it – Yemen as a case study’:

‘Shaykh al-Islam’s (Ibn Taymiyyah) words are supported by what the two Imams, Dhahabi, and Ibn Kathir said. Dhahabi says (in his Siyar A’lam al-Nubala`) in the section about Fanna (Panah) Khusraw, better known by his laqab of ʿAdud al-Dawla, one of the Buyid leaders from northern Iran, a Zaydi Shia Persian clan that rebelled against the Abbasid caliphate):

“He (Panah Khusraw) was a zealous Shi’ite (he patronized a number of Shia scholars such as al-Mufid, and sponsored the renovation of a number of important Shia shrines) who discovered a grave in Najaf and claimed that it belongs to Imam ‘Ali, subsequently, he built a mausoleum above it and propagated Rafidi symbols and rituals, mourning processions in ‘Ashura, I’tizal (heretical Mu’tazili creed)…”

…And Ibn Kathir said regarding the incidents in the year 347 AH:

“The lands (of Islam) were plagued with Rafidismand the cursing of Sahabah which was institutionalised by the [Zaydi Shia Persian] Buyid dynasty, the [Zaydi Shia Laventine] Hamdanid dynasty, and the [North African] Fatimid [Isma’ili Shia] dynasty. During that era all the kings of the lands of Egypt, the Levantine, Iraq, Khorasan, and other than them, were Rafidites, including those in Hejaz and most of the Maghreb. They spread the cursing of and Takfir against Sahabah.” [Shaykh Dr. Ahmad ibn Hassan al-Mu’allim, ‘al-Qubooriyyah (grave veneration/grave worship): its inception, its effect, and the stance of the scholars with regards to it – Yemen as a case study’, pg. 113]

The above is regarding the heresies of the Zaydis, the heretics who are responsible for the idolatrous Najaf temple that is falsely (based on spurious ‘proofs) attributed to our master ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him).

The list of Yemeni scholars who demonstrated the falsehood of Zaydi-Twelver-Sufi heresies of grave veneration is long and most if not everything you can find (like the aforementioned) is only available in Arabic. However, I can’t end this short piece without mentioning another idol-breaker:

The mujaddid, Muhammad Ibn Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Abdullah al-Shawkani (1759 CE /1173 AH – 1839 CE /1250 AH)

Imam Shawkani was born in the mountains of Shawkan (Zaydi stronghold) in Yemen to a scholarly family. He received his Islamic training in the Zaydi Shia school of jurisprudence, in the capital city of Sana’a from his father Ali al-Shawkani and other prominent scholars. A brilliant student, he was destined to ascend the ranks of learning to become a leading scholar in his own right, issuing fatwas by the age of 20, and serving as the chief judge of Yemen for more than four decades.

Zaydis inhabit the scarcely populated northern regions of Yemen, the majority of Yemenis are Sunnis and these Sunni Shafi'i Yemenis brought Islam to Somalia (Shafi'is) all the way to the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Malaysia (both Shafi'is).

After long research Imam al-Shawkani, later on, left Zaydism and adopted the Sunni-Salafi creed of Ahl al-Sunnah and as a result, opposed much of the Zaydi doctrine and Sufism and Twelver Imamism and wrote in refutation of their many heresies.

He’s profoundly influenced the Ahl al-Hadith in the Indian subcontinent (such as Siddiq Hasan Khan) and Salafis in Saudi Arabia and across the globe. Yemeni rulers uphold Imam Shawkani’s Sunnization policies and his da’wah spread to all corners of Yemen to the extent that entire Zaydi tribes and regions have converted to Ahl al-Sunnah.

Amongst the most prolific former Zaydi Shi'ite converts to Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Athar that were influenced by Imam Shawkani is the late Imam Muqbil bin Hadi bin Muqbil bin Qa’idah al-Hamdani al-Wadi’i al-Khallali (1933 – 21 July 2001) who also spread the Salafi da'wah in Zaydi strongholds and beyond.
Imam Shawkani was a young man at the early stage of the Najdi da’wah and whilst disagreeing with certain matters, he had an overall positive view of the ‘ Wahhabi’ movement. After having studied the call of Shaykh Muhammad Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab, Imam al-Shawkani said:

“And in the year 1215H I received from the aforementioned person from Najd two light volumes which he sent to our respected leader, the Imam (may Allah preserve him). One of them contained the treatises of Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab, all of them were about directing to sincerity in Tawhid and warning from Shirk which is practiced by those believing in the graves. And these are beneficial treatises, filled with proofs from the Book and the Sunnah. And the other volume comprised a refutation of a group of negligent ones from the jurists of Sana’a and Sa’dah, they corresponded on some issues with him (Muhammad bin ‘Abd al-Wahhab) connected to the foundations of the religion and a group from the Companions, so he responded to them with detailed, corroborating, verified responses indicating that the one responding is from the bonafide Scholars, knowledgeable of the Book and the Sunnah, and he destroyed everything they constructed (in argument) and invalidate everything they compiled, because they are negligent, biased partisans, and thus what they did became a humiliation for them and upon the people of Sana’a and Sa’dah. This is the case of whoever put himself forward and did not know the true worth of his own self…. “ [al-Badr al-Tali’ by Imam al-Shawkani]

Imam Shawkani himself was a harsh critic of Sufi-Rafidi grave veneration heresies. He compiled an entire treatise called (شرح الصدور في تحريم رفع القبور) ‘Sharh al-Sudoor fi Tahrim Raf’ al-Quboor’ which is in refutation of the heresies of the Zaydis, Twelver Imamites, and Sufis regarding the issue of constructing structures over graves. In fact, it is a response to the Zaydi Imam Yahya ibn Hamzah, known as Al-Mu’ayyad Yahya who stated that there is nothing wrong with spending wealth on domes and mausoleums for the graves of the pious, elite, and kings.

Al-Shawkani, in his treatise, refutes the Zaydis and those who are upon their bid’ah and proves the prohibition of building structures over graves and taking them as places of worship. A divine law that applies to the pious (including the Ahlul-Bayt, Sahabah, etc.), poor, rich, imams, shaykhs, i.e. everybody without exception. As a matter of fact, it applies more to scholars/imams as people are more likely to fall into excess regarding their graves than the grave of an ‘ordinary’ Muslim.

In his treatise, he severely rebukes the grave venerators by referring to them as Qubooriyyah (grave venerators/worshippers). He highlights how due to their extremism and ghuluw (excess) they have completely distorted the Islamic and legitimate concept of grave visitation (where one is supposed to pray FOR the dead and remind himself of death) into a farce that resembles the rituals of the polytheists who decorate their graves and pray TO the deceased. Here is a quote from that very book:

اعلم أنه قد اتفق الناس سابقهم ولاحقهم وأولهم وآخرهم من لدن الصحابة رضي الله عنهم إلى هذا الوقت أن رفع القبور والبناء عليها من البدع التي ثبت النهي عنها واشتد وعيد رسول -صلى الله عليه وسلم- لفاعلها، ولم يخالف في ذلك أحد من المسلمين

شرح الصدور، ص 8

“Know, that the people who came before and after them, the first and the last of them from the time of the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, until this time, have agreed that raising graves and erecting structures upon on them are heresies (bid’ah) that have been proven to be forbidden and the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) had severely warned against the doer of such things and none of the Muslims opposes this matter.” [Sharh al-Sudoor by al-Shawkani, p. 8]

Alas, if only 1% of the Ummah’s learned possessed the bravery of Shaykh al-Islam al-Shawkani, a man who turned his back to Zaydism and refuted it along with other heresies (such as batini Sufism) in a land that especially during his time was strongly Zaydi-Sufi influenced, yet he refuted them in their very midst. He was the cause for the conversion of entire Zaydi tribes to Ahl al-Sunnah and the spread of Salafi-Athari da’wah in the Zaydi strongholds in north Yemen and beyond.

May Allah have mercy upon him and the scholars of Yemen who before anybody else have exposed the reality of the almost uncountable graves, tombs, and shrines that Ahlul-Bid’ah have attributed to the Prophets, the Ahlul-Bayt, and other pious men and women of this Ummah who undoubtedly – if alive – would flatten their own graves to the ground by following the path of Ibrahim (عليه السلام) and Muhammad (ﷺ), lifting the ax of Tawhid and smashing the idolatrous-like constructions which were built over their once-modest graves by their pseudo-followers.