Alhamdulillaah, wassalaatu wassalaam ‘allaa nabiyyinaa Muhammad (salla llaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
Human interaction is an important facet of any society. In Islam, proper relationships are stressed at all phases of interaction and the common greeting holds a special place in Islamic manners.
Allaah ( Tabaaraka wa ta’aalaa) says in the Qur’an (interpretation of meaning):
“And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it or (at least) return it equally.” (Qur’an, An-Nisaa 4:86)
“O you who believe! enter not houses other than your own, until you have asked permission and greeted those in them, that is better for you, in order that you remember.” (Qur’an, An-Nuur 24:27)
“….But when you enter houses, greet one another with a greeting from Allah, blessed and good….” (Qur’an, An-Nuur 24:61)
Too often, we take greetings for granted and attach minimal importance to them. In these verses, however, Allah reminds the Muslims that offering greetings and the manner of the greeting are of utmost importance. Similarly, in a Hadith narrated by Bukhari and Muslim, the Prophet (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) stressed the importance of greetings when he defined the rights of a Muslim:
“The rights of a Muslim upon another are five: returning greetings, visiting the sick, following the funeral procession, responding to invitations and offering ‘Tashmeet’ for one who sneezes.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
The recommended greeting of a Muslim is to say: “Assalaamu ‘alaykum” (peace be upon you)
According to a Hadith related by Bukhari and Muslim, this form of greeting was ordained by Allah from the time of Prophet Adam (peace be upon him).
Sahih Bukhari Volume 8, Book 74, Number 246:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, “Allah created Adam in his complete shape and form (directly), sixty cubits (about 30 meters) in height. When He created him, He said (to him), “Go and greet that group of angels sitting there, and listen to what they will say in reply to you, for that will be your greeting and the greeting of your offspring.” Adam (went and) said, ‘As-Salamu alaikum (Peace be upon you).’ They replied, ‘AsSalamu-‘Alaika wa Rahmatullah (Peace and Allah’s Mercy be on you) So they increased ‘Wa Rahmatullah’ The Prophet added ‘So whoever will enter Paradise, will be of the shape and form of Adam. Since then the creation of Adam’s (offspring) (i.e. stature of human beings is being diminished continuously) to the present time.”
THE VIRTUES OF SALAAM
Exchanging salaam holds a high position in Islam. Not only is salaam equated with many other important deeds, but it is one of the defining criteria of belief. We observe many Hadiths pertaining to the position of exchanging salaam in Islam.
In one Hadith a man asked the Prophet about which aspect of Islam was best. The Prophet (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) replied: “Feeding the hungry and saying salaam to those you know and those you don’t know.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
The Prophet (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) also said: “You will not enter paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another: May I tell you something, that if you practice it you will love one another? ‘spread salaam’ (the greeting of peace) among you.” (Muslim)
The Prophet Muhammad (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) also explained another virtue of salaam in the following Hadith: “When two Muslims meet (give salaam), and shake hands, they are forgiven their sins before they part (with each other).” (Abu Dawud)
Finally, reflect on another saying of the Prophet (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), when he said: “O people! spread salaam, feed the hungry, be in touch with your kin, and pray while people are asleep (at night) you shall enter paradise peacefully.” (Tirmithi)
THE GRADES OF SALAAM
There are several forms of exchanging salaam. Each has its grade which corresponds to the extent of the phrase.
There is a Hadith where Imran Ibn Hussayn (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that:
“A man came to the Prophet (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and said, ‘assalaamu ‘alaykum!’ The Prophet (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) returned his greeting and when the man sat down, the Prophet (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Ten.’ Another man came and said: ‘assalaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah.’ to which the Prophet (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) also responded, and when the man sat down, He said ‘Twenty.’ Another man came and said: ‘assalaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.’ The Prophet (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) returned his greeting, and after the man sat down, he said: ‘Thirty.” (Abu Dawud and Tirmithi)
The Hadith has been interpreted to mean that the minimum form of the Islamic greeting which is acceptable is “assalaamu ‘alaykum” and one is rewarded ten good deeds for saying it. The second grade, adding “wa rahmatullah”, raises the reward to twenty good deeds. The best grade of salaam is “assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatahu”, and this is worth thirty good deeds.
The response to the greeting is similar in form and rewards. The least one could say is “Wa alaykum-us-salaam” and the best response is: “Wa ‘alaykum-us-salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatahu”.
In the time of the Prophet (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) the Sahabah (companions of the Prophet) would compete with one another, to see who could give salaams first.
The Prophet (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “The best of the two persons is the one who begins with salaam.” (Related by Nawawi in his book Al-Adhkaar)
“The Prophet (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam)! When two persons meet with each other, who should take the lead in greeting the other? He answered: ‘The one who is closest to Allah.” (Tirmithi)
The Prophet (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “The person closest to Allah is the one who precedes others in greeting.” (Abu Dawud).
The Prophet (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) also said: A mounted person should greet the one who is walking, and a person on foot should greet the one who is sitting; a smaller group should greet a larger group and the young should greet their elders. (Saheeh Bukhari).
THE ISLAMIC RULING ON SALAAM
Initiating salaams is considered ‘Sunnah’ or optional, returning the salaams after it is offered is considered ‘waajib’ or obligatory, based on the first Qur’anic ayah mentioned. Islam also encourages people to offer the first greeting as mentioned in the Hadiths mentioned previously.
The Prophet was asked about the most appropriate way to give salaams as shown in the following Hadith:
Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) says that a man asked the Prophet (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam):
“O Messenger of Allah (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam)! When any one of us meets a Muslim brother or a friend then should he bow his head (as a sign of courtesy to him)?’ He said: ‘No.’ The man said: ‘Should he embrace him?’ He said: ‘No.’ The man then asked: ‘Should he clasp his hands?’ He said: ‘Yes.” (Tirmithi)
Unfortunately, now in our community, Muslims have adopted other methods of giving salutations, and as we can see in this Hadith, The Prophet (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was very precise about how salaams were to be given.
We as Muslims, should remember that Prophet Muhammad (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is the best example for us to follow in all aspects of our life, and we should be careful not to add anything new to the Deen of Islam, for fear of implying that the Prophet Muhammad (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) did not complete his mission.
As Allah (Most Exalted is He) says in the Qur’an:
“You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah, a beautiful pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day.” (Qur’an, Al-Ahzaab 33:21).
PROSTRATION, BOWING, BENDING, KNEELING IN GREETINGS
Prostration is from the greatest of form of worship and is due only to Allaah alone, and after the Sharee’ah of Islam was revealed, what was permitted in previous nations (of prostration of respect and welcome greeting) was prohibited and declared unlawful, and the Scholars of Islam explain it to be major shirk when offered to other than Allaah.
We should also know that all the creatures do prostrate for Allaah (Tabaaraka wa ta’aalaa) alone as He says in this ayah (interpretation of meaning):
“See you not that whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and Ad-Dawâbb [moving (living) creatures, beasts], and many of mankind prostrate themselves to Allâh. But there are many (men) on whom the punishment is justified. And whomsoever Allâh disgraces, none can honour him. Verily, Allâh does what He wills”. (Soorah al-Hajj, Q22V18).
Allaah ( Tabaaraka wa ta’aalaa) also says in the Qur’an (interpretation of meaning):
And from among His Signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Prostrate yourselves not to the sun or to the moon, but prostrate yourselves to Allâh Who created them, if you (really) worship Him. But if they are too proud (to do so), then there are those who are with your Lord (angels) glorify Him night and day, and never are they tired. ( Soorah Fussilat, Q41V37&38).
We should also know that Allaah (Subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa) uses the word “sajdah” to mean bowing or bending which means bowing and bending are included in the meaning of sujood in Sharee’ah. Allaah (Subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa) says (interpretation of meaning):
And (remember) when We said: “Enter this town (Jerusalem) and eat bountifully therein with pleasure and delight wherever you wish, and enter the gate in prostration (i.e. bowing with humility) and say: ‘Forgive us,’ and We shall forgive you your sins and shall increase (reward) for the good-doers.” (Soorah al-Baqarah, Q2V58).
It is very clear to us in this verse that those people can not enter the gate in a form of sujood that we normally do in Salaat, so it simply means bowing or bending. So when Allaah (Subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa) prohibits prostration to others, it includes bowing and bending as indicted in the verse.
Allaah ( Tabaaraka wa ta’aalaa) also says (interpretation of meaning):
And the masaajid are for Allâh (Alone), so invoke not anyone along with Allâh. (Soorah al-Jinn Q72V18).
The word “masaajid” stands for plural of masjid and can also mean places of prostration as we can see in the hadith below:
‘Abdullaah bn ‘Abass (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said “We were ordered to prostrate with seven bones, namely forehead (he pointed his nose with his hand), two palms, two knees, the tip of both feet…. (Saheeh bukhari, Muslim, Abu ‘Uwaanah).
So we muslims should not use any part we use in prostration to Allaah (Subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa) to other human beings or non living beings as indicated in this above verse.
The Messenger of Allah (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) also forbids bowing or bending in greeting as we can see in this hadith:
Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) says that a man asked the Prophet (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam):
“O Messenger of Allah (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam)! When any one of us meets a Muslim brother or a friend then should he bow his head (as a sign of courtesy to him)?’ He said: ‘No.’ The man said: ‘Should he embrace him?’ He said: ‘No.’ The man then asked: ‘Should he clasp his hands?’ He said: ‘Yes.” (Tirmithi).
It was also authentically reported that Abu Hurayrah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: If I were to order anyone to prostrate to a human, I would have ordered the wife to prostrate to her husband, for the magnitude of the rights he has on her. (Irwaahul ghaleel of Sheikh al-Albaanee, 7/54-55). The Prophet even forbids the women to do it for their husbands because it can only be done for Allaah (Subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa) alone.
STATEMENTS OF SCHOLARS OF SUNNAH
It should be noted here that all the salafee scholars condemned this act and called it Shirk Akbar which can put someone outside the fold of Islaam if the shuroot of Takfeer are fulfilled and there are absence of prohibition of Takfeer.
Below are statements of some of them:
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
With regard to bowing when greeting someone, it is forbidden as is narrated in al-Tirmidhi from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him); they asked him about a man who meets his brother, can he bow to him? He said: “No.” And it is not permissible to bow or prostrate to anyone except Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, even though that may have been a form of greeting in other religions, as in the story of Yoosuf – “…and they fell down before him prostrate. And he said: ‘O my father! This is the interpretation of my dream aforetime!’” [Yoosuf 12:100]. But in our religion it is not acceptable to bow or prostrate to anyone except Allah; in fact it is also forbidden to stand as the non-Arabs stand before one another, so how about bowing and prostrating? Similarly, a partial bow is also included in this prohibition.
End quote from Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa, 1/377
And he said:
With regard to lowering the head when meeting prominent figures such as shaykhs and so on, or kissing the ground and so on, these are things concerning which there is no difference of opinion among the imams that they are forbidden. In fact merely inclining the back to anyone other than Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, is forbidden. In al-Musnad and elsewhere it is narrated that when Mu‘aadh bn Jabal came back from Syria, he prostrated to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), who said: “What is this, O Mu‘aadh?” He said: O Messenger of Allah, I saw them in Syria prostrating to their bishops and patriarchs, and they narrated that from their Prophets. He said: “They are lying, O Mu‘aadh; if I were to instruct anyone to prostrate to anyone else, I would have instructed a woman to prostrate to her husband because of the greatness of his rights over her. O Mu‘aadh, do you think that if you were to pass my grave you would prostrate?” He said: No. He said: “Do not do that,” or words to that effect.
To sum up: standing, sitting, bowing and prostrating are due only to the only One Who is deserving of worship, the Creator of the heavens and the earth; with regard to that which is due only to Allah, no one should have any share in it; this also applies to swearing by anything other than Allah, may He be glorified and exalted.
End quote from Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa, 27/92, 93
Sheikh ‘Abdul’Azeez bn ‘Abdullaah bn Baz (Rahimahullaahu)
Question: Respected Shaykh, what is the meaning of the kufr of action that occurs in the various states (al-ahwaal at-tabee’iyyah, i.e. conditions) that humans undergo)?
Imaam Ibn Baaz (rahimahullaahu): Such as prostrating to other than Allaah, sacrificing to other than Allaah, such as reviling the religion, or mocking the religion, this is kufr of action – we seek pardon from Allaah – this is kufr akbar (major kufr)”.
Question: Prostrating and sacrificing (to other than Allaah), when it is done in ignorance, is there to be a differentiation between ignorance, and willful intent (i.e. with knowledge)?
Imaam Ibn Baaz: There is no ignorance in this matter. This is from the matters that are not unknown amongst the Muslims, he sacrifices to other than Allaah, and hence he becomes a disbeliever, and upon him is repentance. And if he was truthful, upon his repentance, and whoever repents to Allaah, Allaah turns to him. The Mushriks repented and Allaah turned to them on the day of al-Fath (the conquest). And their disbelief and misguidance is known. And so when Allaah opened up Makkah (for the Muslims) and they (the Mushriks) entered into the religion of Allaah, Allaah accepted that from them.
[Taken from “Hiwaar Hawla Masaa’il at-Takfir”, from a lecture given by the Shaykh (rahimahullaah) in 1418H. Prepared by Khalid al-Kharraaz and published by Maktabah al-Imaam adh-Dhahabee, Kuwait, 1420H (2000CE)]
Sheikh Muhammad bn ‘Abdulwahaab (Rahimahullaahu) in his book Shuroot Salaat also condemned the act when he was talking about at-Tahiyyaat he said “Bending, Ruku’, Sujuud….and all what we use to magnify the Lord of the Worlds are for Allaah alone. Whoever that performs any of them to other than Allaah is a Mushrik (Idolator) Kaaffir (Disbeliever).
[Usool thalaathah wa Qawaa’idul ‘Arba’h wa Shuroot –us- Salaah, Page 37]
FATAAWAA (SCHOLARLY VERDICTS)
Q 4: Is it true that a person who testifies that Allah is the Creator and Provider, and that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger, and performs Salah (Prayer) is a Muslim even if they make Sujud (Prostration) to their shaykh and offer sacrifices for people other than Allah?
A: Making Sujud and sacrificing for anyone other than Allah is Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship). People who indulge in any of these practices after being aware of the ruling of doing so, are Mushriks (people who associate others with Allah in worship) and Kafirs (disbelievers). Allah will not accept any of their deeds even if they offer Sawm (Fast) and Salah. Deeds of Mushriks are rejected. Moreover, if they die in this case, Allah will not forgive them. Allah says: <Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills> Allah also says, <Verily, whosoever sets up partners (in worship) with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise to him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers) there are no helpers.> Also Allah says: <But if they had joined in worship others with Allah, all that they used to do would have been of no benefit to them.> But if they return to Allah in sincere Tawbah (repentance to Allah) before death, Allah will forgive them, as Allah (Exalted be He) says: <Say: “O ‘Ibâdî (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allâh: verily, Allâh forgives all sins.> Muslim scholars unanimously agree that this Ayah (Qur’anic verse) speaks about repentant people. As for the Ayah of Surah Al-Nissa’: <Verily, Allâh forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills>, it speaks about the unrepentant people, namely, those who died in Kufr (disbelief) and sin. May Allah protect us from that.
(Fatwas of the Permanent Committee [Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Portal of the General Presidency of Scholarly Research and Ifta’], Volume 1, Part 1, Chapter on Aqidah, Creeds: Prostration before anyone or anything other than Allah, Fourth question from Fatwa no. 4360: Prostrating before other than Allah and slaughtering animals for them, pp. 336-337).
Q 7: Is it permissible to perform Ruku‘ (bowing) to one’s parents?
A: This is impermissible and is tantamount to Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship). Ruku‘ is a form of worship, just like Sujud (prostration); therefore, it is impermissible to bow or prostrate before anyone other than Allah the Exalted. (Ibid, The Seventh Question of Fatwa no. 9868: Bowing to Parents).
QUESTION: What are the types of worship that can never be correct or accepted except when done solely for Allaah Alone?
ANSWER: From its types are, Du’aa (supplication), Ista’aanah (seeking help and aid), Istaghaathah (seeking deliverance and rescue), Dhabh (slaughtering), Qurbaan (sacrifice), Nadhr (making vows), Khawf (fear of His punishment), Rajaa’a (hope for His mercy), Tawakkul (dependence and reliance on Allaah), Inaabah (turning in repentance), Mahabbah (love), Khashyah (awe), Raghbah (fervent desire), Rahbah (dread), Ta’alluh (taking one as a deity), Rukoo’ (bowing in prayer), Sujood (prostration), Khushoo’ (humility), Tadhallul (humbleness and self abasement), and the glorification and exaltation that is from the specific traits of al-Uloohiyyah.
(The Proofs of Tawheed From the Book: Dalaa’il at-Tawheed Khamsoon Su’aalan wa Jawaaban fil-‘Aqeedah, by Shaykhul Islaam Muhammad bin Sulaym at-Timimee).
The scholars of the Standing Committee said:
It is not permissible to bow when greeting or to take off one’s shoes for him.
And they said:
It is not permissible to bow when greeting a Muslim or a kaafir, whether with the upper part of the body or the head, because bowing IS A FORM OF WORSHIP, and worship can only be for Allah alone.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz,
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Razzaaq ‘Afeefi,
Shaykh ‘Abd-Allah ibn Ghadyaan,
Shaykh ‘Abd-Allah ibn Qa‘ood
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 1/233, 234.
CLARIFICATION OF SHUBUHAAT (DOUBTS)
This clarification becomes necessary because some people normally use some verses of Quraan and hadith to justify there claims that we can bow, bend or prostrate for one another when greeting. Among there evidences are:
FIRST DOUBT: ‘And (remember) when We said to the angels, ‘Prostrate yourselves before Adam.’ And they prostrated…’ [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 34]
This is the kind of prostration which Allaah (Subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa) commanded the angels to do in the case of Adam, so they prostrated to him as an act of honouring him. It was an act of worship towards Allaah (Subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa) on their part, because they were obeying His command to prostrate to Adam.
This prostration of the angels before Adam was a sign of honour and respect and out of obedience to the command of Allah. Qatadah commented, ‘The obedience was for Allah and the prostration was before Adam. Allah honored Adam and commanded the angels to prostrate before him.’ [See Tafseer at-Tabaree (1): 512]
SECOND DOUBT: Allah (Glorified be He) says (interpretation of meaning):
And he (Yusuf) raised his parents to the throne and they fell down before him prostrate (Surah Yusuf 12:100).
The prostration of Yoosuf’s parents and brothers was also a prostration of greeting and honouring, which was permissible according to the law (of Allaah) at that time. But according to the sharee’ah brought by the Seal of the Prophets, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), it is not permissible to prostrate to anyone at all except Allaah. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If I were to have commanded anyone to prostrate to anyone else, I would have commanded women to prostrate to their husbands. The prohibition in this sharee’ah against prostrating to anyone at all except Allaah is an aspect of its perfection in achieving true Tawheed. It is the perfect sharee’ah whose perfection is manifested in all its rulings. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion” [al-Maa’idah 5:3]
Sheikh ‘Abdul’Azeez bn ‘Abdullaah bn Baz (Rahimahullaahu) commented on the two incidences narrated in the Quraan as thus:
Knowing that then, prostration was Mubah (permissible) as a form of honoring and greeting, and not of worship. It is similar to the way the angels prostrated to Adam in honor and veneration, not in worship, of him. Here, prostration in greeting and honoring others was permissible in the Shari`ah (Islamic law) of those before us. However, this is forbidden in the Shari`ah of Muhammad (peace be upon him). Therefore, it was authentically reported that he (peace be upon him) said: If I were to order anyone to prostrate to a human, I would have ordered the wife to prostrate to her husband, for the magnitude of the rights he has on her. He also pointed out that prostration is due only to Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He), and thus one should not prostrate except to Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He). Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) also says in the end of Surah (Qur’anic chapter) Al-Najm (The Star):
So fall you down in prostration to Allah and worship Him (Alone) (Surah Al-Najm 53:62) and says in Surah Iqra’ (Read):
Fall prostrate and draw near to Allah (Surah Al-’Alaq 96:19).
Prostration is for Allah Alone, and the Shari’ah of Muhammad (peace be upon him) – the most perfect and complete Shari’ah – declared it impermissible to prostrate to other than Allah, neither in honor and greeting of others, nor in worship. As for worship, it is not permitted to anyone except Allah Alone in all laws. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says:
And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents (Surah Al-Isra’ 17:23) and
And I (Allah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone). (Surah Al-Dhariyat 51:56)
Thus, worship is the right of Allah Alone, at every time and place, while prostration was practiced as a form of greeting in the past, as Yusuf’s (Joseph) parents and brothers did to him, and as the angels did to Adam. Such was a form of greeting and honoring, not a form of worship. In the Shari`ah of Muhammad (peace be upon him), however, Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) forbade this, and ordered that prostration be done to Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) Alone. It is not permissible for a person to prostrate to anyone else, be they prophets or other than them. The Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade the Companions to prostrate to him, and told them that prostration is due to Allah Alone (Glorified and Exalted be He). They learnt from this that all forms of worship should be done for the sake of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) Alone, and the greatest and best form of worship is prostration, being a manifestation of humility and submissiveness to Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He). Hence, it should not be paid to anyone else, either prophets, Jinn (creatures created from fire) or mankind or anything else. Indeed, Allah is the One sought for help.
THIRD DOUBT: ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa narrated: When Mu‘adh (may Allah be pleased with him) arrived from Sham, he prostrated to the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace). Thereupon, he said: “What is this, O Mu‘adh?!” He said: “I went to Sham, and I found them prostrating to their high priests and their patriarchs, so I wished in my soul to do this for you.” Thereupon, Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “Don’t do [this], for were I to instruct [anyone] to prostrate to another besides Allah, I would instruct the woman to prostrate to her husband.” Ahmad and Ibn Majah narrated it.
These people want to use this hadith that Mu‘adh (may Allah be pleased with him) prostrated to the prophet and the Prophet did not call him a Mushrik; they say prostration is ordinary sin and that was why the Prophet just corrected Mu‘adh (may Allah be pleased with him).
Sheikh Rabee’ bn Haadee al-Madkhalee (hafidhahullaahu) declared this hadith has da’eef (weak). He said the hadith is weak by isnad (chain of narration) and matn (text).
As for isnad: The hadith comes through the way of Qaasim bin A’uf as-Shaybaanee and scholars of hadiths decalred him as da’eef (a weak narrator).
Their statements concerning him are:
Yahya bn S’ad al-Qataanee – Da’eef
Shu’bah – Da’eef
Abu Haatim – Mudtaribul hadeeth
Nasahee – Da’eef
Ibn Hibban – Da’eef
Imaam Dhahabee – Mukhtalif fee haalihi
Then in another riwayah in Musnad Imaam Ahmad, there is Inqitaah (broken chain) between abee Dhabyaan and Mu’adh which rendered this hadith weak as well.
As for matn: Sheikh said it was not established that Mu‘adh (may Allah be pleased with him) travelled to Shaam during the lifetime of the Prophet (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam). What was established was that he went to Shaam during the time of khilaafah of ‘Umar bn Khattab (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) and he died there as a result of sickness. Then Mu’adh only went to Yemen during the late lifetime of the Prophet (salla llaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and the Prophet died while he was still there. He then came back during the khilaafah of Abubakr as-Sideeq (radiyallaahu ‘anhu).
Then Mu‘adh (may Allah be pleased with him) was among the elders of sahabah and very knowledgeable among them that he could not be ignorant of this aspect of Sharee’ah.
With the permission of Allaah (Subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa), this issue of bending, prostrating, bowing and kneeling while greeting has been clarified. It is Shirk to do all these actions to other than Allaah (Subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa) and this is derived from the Words of Allaah (Subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa) in Quraan, the authentic hadiths of the Messenger of Allaah (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and the statements of Scholars of Sunnah (May Allaah have Mercy upon them). Muslims should try to distance themselves from indulging in these acts and follow the teachings of the Prophet (Salla llaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) for Allaah (Subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa) has commanded us to emulate him in all our dealings as Allaah (Most Exalted is He) says in the Qur’an: “You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah, a beautiful pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day.” (Qur’an, Al-Ahzaab 33:21).
Subhaanaka Allaahuma wabihamdika Ash-haddu an laahillaaha illa anta astaghfiruka wa atuubilayk.
Compiled and Arranged by:
Sulaimaan bn ‘AbdulGhaffaar
(Abu ‘Abdir Rahmaan)