The Link Between Shia and Sufi Grave Worship In Egypt
Every year on the birthday of Sufi saints (including Ahlul-Bayt) ceremonies are held among Sufis in Egypt. On the birth anniversaries of Lady Nafisah and Lady Zaynab, Sufis seek blessings from their buried saint and perform tawaf around the shrines – it has even become a tradition for brides to perform tawaf so that their marriage will be blessed.
Imam Dhahabi said regarding these types of deviants who invoke the saints for help such as Lady Nafisah:
لجهلة المصريين فيها اعتقاد يتجاوز الوصف ولا يجوز مما فيه من الشرك، ويسجدون لها، ويلتمسون منها المغفرة، وكان ذلك من دسائس دعاة العُبيدية. – سير أعلام النبلاء
And the ignoramuses amongst the Egyptians hold beliefs in regards to her which are beyond description, impermissible [beliefs] which include polytheism (i.e. Shirk). They prostrated (i.e. to her grave) and beg her to forgive their sins. These [heresies] were all plotted by the ‘Ubudiyyah [Siyar A’lam al-Nubala’ by Imam Dhahabi]
The close affinity between Sufism and Shi’ism led Ibn Khaldun to say that the later Sufis mixed with the Isma’ili Rafidi Shia (who were the first to introduce Mawlid of the Prophet and saints), and each group learned from the other.
State-sponsored tomb tourism
Today, the Ummah is preoccupied with so many issues that sometimes we can’t see the wood for the trees. This, of course, is something the devils in human form take full advantage of.
What has received little attention (even in the Arab world) is the recent devilry that the Quburis and the transgressing rulers have been up to lately in the name of ‘loving Ahlul-Bayt’ and ‘boosting religious tourism’! Two words: shrine business.
CAIRO — Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has instructed the relevant authorities to restore and renovate the shrines of Ahl al-Bayt (the family of the Prophet Muhammad) across the country, particularly the tombs of Sayyida Nafisa, Sayyida Zeinab and Sayyid al-Hussein.
A July 24 presidential press statement said Sisi met with the head of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority, Maj. Gen. Ihab al-Far, and directed him to renovate the interior halls of mosques and their rich and elegant architectural decorations, in line with the historical and spiritual nature of shrines, and to develop the roads and squares leading to the sites as well as the surrounding facilities.
Shrines, which are sometimes built next to mosques, occupy an important place in Egyptian society and are a destination for those who want to pray, as Muslims consider them a source of blessings, reassurance and inner peace.
The ‘Syeds/Sayeds/Sharifs’ and other dubious claimants of Hashimite lineage are all celebrating:
The head of the Al-Ashraf Syndicate (Al-Ashraf are those who belong to the lineage of Muhammad), Mahmoud al-Sharif, told Al-Monitor, “Developing the roads, squares and facilities surrounding the Ahl al-Bayt mosques will make them more attractive to visitors and easier to reach, thus allowing visitors from all over the world to access these shrines once again.”
And the Sufis are happy as shrines are their bread and butter:
Meanwhile, Abdel Hadi al-Qasabi, the president of the Supreme Council of Sufi Orders, said in a July 26 interview on Mehwar TV, “The interest in Ahl al-Bayt shrines is a revival of the values of love, sincerity, tolerance and acceptance of others, which is what we need at this time to preserve the successes of the Egyptian state in all fields during the recent period.”
Do not worry! The pharaohs of modern times and the Ayatullats of Karbala and Qom have nothing in mind other than our welfare and well-being.
Abdel Rahim Rihan, director general of research, archaeological studies and scientific publishing in South Sinai at the Tourism Ministry, told Al-Monitor, “The political leadership’s sponsorship of shrines and [Sisi’s] directives to restore and renovate them, as well as the roads leading to them, boost these shrines’ value and contribute to revitalizing religious tourism in Egypt.”
He said, “The state’s interest in developing these attractions and facilitating access to them will make Egypt a destination for religious tourism for Muslim and Christian pilgrims alike from all over the world.”
Ya Jesus/Mary madad and ‘Ya Ali/Fatimah’ madad, why not? This is just Tawassul (as one of the grand Muftis of Azhar said)
Rihan said, “Restoring shrines helps to complete the religious tourism system, which also includes the Holy Family Trail that blesses the land of Egypt from Rafah in Sinai to the Muharraq Monastery in Assiut governorate.”
He pointed out that the two routes can be linked into one path to include visits to the holy family’s sites in Cairo, such as the Tree of the Virgin Mary in al-Matariyyah, the Maadi Church, the churches of ancient Egypt and the shrines of Ahl al-Bayt.
More and more shrines…
Rihan said, “The most famous shrines in Egypt [of Muhammad’s descendants] are located on al-Ashraf Street or what is known as Ahl al-Bayt Road in central Cairo. This street includes the tombs of Zain al-Abidin, Sayyida Nafisa, Sakinah bint Husayn, Sayyida Zeinab, Ibn Sirin and Ruqayah bint Ali, in addition to other shrines in different locations, such as the tomb of Fatma al-Nabawiyya in the al-Darb al-Ahmar district.”
Needless to say that Iran/Twelver Rafidis are delighted about the activities of their Sufi brothers in grave veneration:
The extremist Rafidi al-Sadr tweeted in support of Sissi’s shrine-renovation projects and expressed his hopes that his brothers (! ) in Saudi Arabia too, especially under the ‘moderate’ rule of Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, will agree to the reconstruction of idolatrous Sufi-Rafidi shrines in Al Baqi cemetery in Madinah, which, according to al-Sadr, will unite the ranks of the Muslims (the audacity: his tweet ended with the hashtag #Moderation_Is_Truth).
It is not the first time that the Sadrist leader called on the Saudis to ‘reconstruct the Baqi graves’, noting that it would lead to ‘an end to the sectarian conflicts in the region.’
The spiritual founding fathers of al-Azhar, the Isma’ili Rafidis (of the Dawoodi Bohra domination), were even invited to inaugurate (!) the new idolatrous temple and shrine. The Bohras are Batini Isma’ili mushrikun who were defeated by the Ash’ari Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi (may Allah have mercy upon him) who expelled them from Egypt in 1174, to set off the Bohra to many countries of the world.
Today, Al-Azhar is silent as the transgressors invite the principal enemies of Ahlus-Sunnah to inaugurate a dubious shrine! These are the same people claiming Salah al-Din, oh irony!
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi inaugurated on Wednesday El-Hussein Mosque after extensive renovations in the presence of Sultan of the Indian Bohra community Mufaddal Saifuddin.
The President performed mosque greeting prayer and then recited Al-Fatiha, the first surah of the Holy Quran in front of the shrine of Imam El-Hussein.
The renovations were implemented as per El-Sisi’s directives to develop the shrines of ‘Ahl El-Bayt’ (‘The family of the Islamic prophet Muhammad’) across Egypt.
The inauguration also witnessed the attendance of Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Minister of Religious Endowments Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa, along with Saifuddin’s brothers and sons, including Prince Jawhar Izz Al-Din, Prince Jaafar Al-Sadiq Saif Al-Din, as well as Sayyid Mufaddal Mohammad — the sultan’s representative in Egypt.
Yes, poverty-stricken Egypt has recently spent vast sums of money restoring dubious Rafidi-Sufi tombs and shrines that are attributed to the Ahlul Bayt.
The project kicked off in mid-March. The mosque was closed and the renovations were launched based on a protocol signed in December with the Ministry of Awqaf, syndicate of Al Ashraf, the Sufi Association, and Mawadda association for the development and embellishment of the Imam Hussein Mosque. According to the protocol, the Masajid Development Foundation pledged to fund the project with 150 million Egyptian pounds.
Because, you know… the once humble tombs of the Ahlul Bayt (who themselves lived humble lives and insisted on burial in leveled tombs) must be made as lavish and luxurious as possible (like those of the ‘Imam of the Oppressed’ in Tehran) in order to intimidate and impress the gullible masses and mentally tie them to the tombs and shrines of the buried demigods (assuming that anyone is buried there, to begin with).
Not surprisingly, secular rulers throughout the Muslim world are quite fond and supportive of grave/tomb veneration, the real opiate of the people.
The grave of Hussain in Cairo
As for the tomb/shrine attributed to Hussain (may Allah be pleased with him) in Cairo, Egypt: This is another dubious resting place attributed to the Ahlul Bayt (like in Najaf) over which the Quburis themselves differ!
The Rafidis are of course the sect with the most extreme and absurd claims. The tomb and shrine-obsessed Persian Zindiq of Qom, Ibn Qulawayh (student of al-Kulayni and teacher of al-Mufid), claimed that Hussain’s (may Allah be pleased with him) head was buried next to his father’s grave (in Najaf, Iraq).
Sufis of Damascus and Cairo also claimed Hussain’s head, each grave-worshipper has created his own pilgrimage in the name of the Ahlul-Bayt.
In the 12th century CE, Rafidi Ismaili Caliph al-Mustansir ordered the construction of a new Friday mosque and ‘mashhad’ (memorial shrine) on the alleged burial site of Hussain’s (may Allah pleased with him) head. The Ottomans under Salim Selim I expanded the mausoleum and invested heavily in maintaining tomb and shrine veneration in Egypt.
The current shrine was made by an Indian grave-worshippers. To mark the site of burial, known as Ra’s al-Hussain (Arabic: رَأس ٱلحُسَين) or Mashhad Ra’s al-Hussain, Taher Saifuddin had a shrine built in Mumbai, which was later installed at the mosque in 1965 just before his death. It was subsequently inaugurated by his son, Mohammed Burhanuddin. According to tradition.
The shrine was originally meant for Abbas Mosque, in Karbala, Iraq but could not be installed there. The location and the shrine had previously been measured precisely, but it simply didn’t fit. Taher Saifuddin, the maker of the shrine then claimed to have received ‘divine guidance’ by way of intuition that out of loyalty, he could not allow Ra’s (the head) Imam Hussain to be without a shrine. As a consequence, Abbas’ shrine was flown to Cairo and installed at Ra’s al-Hussain at the al-Hussain mosque, instead.
But what if the head of Hussain is really at his shrine in Cairo?
As for some of the historians who claim that Hussain’s (may Allah be pleased with him) head was buried in Cairo, these claims are hotly disputed at best, and even when proved by divine revelation that Hussain’s (may Allah be pleased with him ) head was buried in Cairo, how does this justify a Rafidi Sufi shrine that Hussain himself would no doubt reject and raze to the ground?
Abu al-Hayyaj reported: Ali ibn Abi Talib said to me, “Shall I not send you upon the mission with which the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, sent me? Do not leave a graven image but that you efface it, and do not leave a built over grave but that you level it.” (Sahih Muslim)
Imam Al-Shawkani (Ex-Zaydi Shia scholar from Yemen who became Sunni) said:
The words “do not leave any raised grave without leveling it” means that the Sunnah is that a grave should not be made very high, and there should be no differentiation between those who were virtuous and those who were not virtuous.
As for: “But fulan and ‘illan quoted this and that in their books and allowed this and that…”
But the Umayyads, the Abbasids and the Ottomans built shrines… and fulan shaykh and pir allowed shrines… and a group of Shafi’is allow shrines…”
“But Subki said… and Ibn al-Jawzi said in his Kitab al-Ruh… and al-Ramli said… and a group of scholars talked about al-Tajribah at graves…”
None of this constitutes evidence in the religion of Islam. Statements like the following (which isn’t even true) peddled by the Quburis will impress no one except the feeble-minded and gullible:
Ibn Hajar also mentions in his Fatawa that [the great hadith scholar] Imam Hakim said in his Mustadrak after mentioning hadiths that prohibit building or writing on graves, “Scholars have not acted upon these hadiths, for the great scholars of the Muslims—east and west—have all had their graves built over, which is something that has been passed on from generation to generation.”
The devils disguised as ‘Traditionalists’
Muhammad Abdul-Wahid ‘al-Hanbali’ – who frequents the Rafidi-Sufi shrines in Egypt and claims that Sayyidna Hussain cured his mother
Sell-out ‘scholars’ and other heretics are the backbone of the tyrannical rulers and their tomb and shrine business. One of those deranged heretics is Muhammad Abdul-Wahid ‘al-Hanbali’ who is known for his hatred of the Najdis and his obsession with shrines and seeking help from the buried.
In line with the Sissi shrine-restoration projects, he claimed that Hussain, may Allah be pleased with him, cured his mother.
Here he hopes Allah will benefit him through HUSSAIN’S aid and blessings:
“May Allah benefit us through our master Hussain, and may He aid us through Hussain’s honourable aid and blessings…” – Muhammad al-Azhari
And here you see him proudly taking photos next to Sufi grave venerators who are clinging to the shrine of Imam al-Shafi’i (an excess which he would condemn) in a state of reverence (خشوع) and humility (خضوع):
Finally, I’d like to leave you with some excellent refutations in Arabic of the claim (by the likes of al-Jifri, Ali Gomaa, Muhammad al-Azhari, etc.) that Hussain’s (may Allah be pleased with him) head is buried in Cairo: