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During ziyārah, why do the Shī‘ah kiss the doors and walls of the shrine of awliyā’ and seek blessings [tabarruk] whereby?

During ziyārah, why do the Shī‘ah kiss the doors and walls of the shrine of awliyā’ and seek blessings [tabarruk] whereby?


During ziyārah, why do the Shī‘ah kiss the doors and walls of the shrine of awliyā and seek blessings [tabarruk] whereby?




Reply: Seeking blessings [tabarruk] through the remnants (and symbols) of the saints [awliyā’] of God is not a new phenomenon among Muslims; rather, this behavior can be traced back to the Prophet’s life account and to the life of his Companions.

Not only the Holy Prophet () and his Companions did this act but also past prophets (‘a) used to do it. Below are the proofs provided by the Qur’an and Sunnah concerning the legitimacy of seeking blessings through the remnants (and symbols) of the awliyā’.

1. In the Holy Qur’an we read that when Yūsuf (Joseph) the Truthful (‘a) introduced himself to his brothers and forgave them, he said: بَصِيرًا يَأْتِ أَبِي وَجهِ عَلَىٰ فَأَلْقُوهُ هَٰذَا بِقَمِيصِي ٱذْهَبُوا  ﴿“Take this shirt of mine, and cast it upon my father’s face; he will regain his sight.”[1]

Then, the Qur’an recounts:

بَصِيرًا فَٱرْتَدَّ وَجْهِهِ عَلَىٰ أَلْقَٰهُ ٱلْبَشِيرُ جَاءَ أَن فَلَمَّا ﴿

“When the bearer of good news arrived, he cast it on his face, and he regained his sight.”[2]

The expressive content of these Qur’anic words proves clearly how a prophet of God (arat Ya‘qūb (‘a)) seeks blessings through the shirt of another prophet (Ḥaḍrat Yūsuf (‘a)). Furthermore, it indicates that the said shirt caused arat Ya‘qūb (‘a) to regain his sight.

Now, can we say that this act of the two holy prophets (‘a) is not within the ambit of monotheism and worship of God?!

 2. No one doubts that while circumambulating the House of God [tawāf], the Holy Prophet of Islam () used to touch or kiss the Black Stone [ajar al-Aswād].

Bukhāri in his Ṣaḥī says:

“.يقبّله و يستلمه وسلّم [وآله] عليه الله صلىالله رسول رأيت

“I saw the Messenger of Allah () touch and kiss it (ajar al-Aswād).”[3]

So, if touching or kissing a stone was an act of associating partner with God, how would the Prophet who called for monotheism do it?

3. In the Ṣaḥīs, Musnads and books of history and traditions, there are plentiful ḥadīths regarding the Prophet’s Companions’ seeking blessings through the Prophet’s () belongings such as garment, water of wuḍū’ [ablution], water vessel, etc. These ḥadīths remove any doubt about the legitimacy and wholesomeness of this practice.

We cannot cite all the ḥadīths related to this issue in this volume, and we shall mention only some of them:

a. In his Ṣaḥī, Bukhāri narrates a long tradition which contains a description of some of the features of the Prophet () and his Companions, and says:

“.وضوئه على يقتتلون توضّأكادوا إذا و

“When he (Prophet) performed wuḍū, they (Muslims) would seemingly fight with one another (in order to get some of the water the Prophet () used in wuḍū).”[4]

b. Ibn ajar says:

“.عليهم فيبرك بالصّبيان يؤتىٰ كانوسلّم [وآله] عليه الله صلىالنّبي إنَّ

“They brought children to the Prophet () and he blessed them.”[5]

c. Muammad āhir al-Makkī says:

“Umm Thābit is reported to have said: ‘Once the Messenger of Allah () called on me and while standing drank water from the mouth of a waterskin, which was suspended. So I rose up and cut off the mouth of the waterskin’.”

He then adds:

“Tirmidhī narrates this adīth, too and says: ‘It is an authentic [aī] and sound [asan] adīth’, and the commentator of this adīth says in the book, Riyā a

[1] Sūrah Yūsuf 12:93.

[2] Sūrah Yūsuf 12:96.

[3] aī al-Bukhārī (Egypt), vol. 2, “Kitāb al-ajj,” “Bāb Taqbīl al-ajar,” pp. 151-152.

[4] aī al-Bukhārī (Egypt), vol. 3, “Kitāb mā Yajūz min ash-Shurū fī’l-Islām,” “Bāb ash-Shurū fī’l-Jihād wa’l-Maālaah,” p. 195.

[5] Al-Iābah (Egypt), vol. 1, “Khubah al-Kitāb,” p. 7.

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