Khutbas by Imam Habib
Khutba on Ziyarat an-Nabi
الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي قبل حج من زار النبي، ووجب لهم الشفاعة في يوم يفصل فيه بين السعيد والشقي، نحمده تعالى ونستعينه، ونشكره تعالى ونستغفره ونستغيثه، نعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا، من يهد الله فهو المهتد ومن يضلل فلن تجد له وليا مرشدا، ونشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له، له الملك و له الحمد، يحيي ويميت، بيده الخير، وهو على كل شيء قدير، ونشهد أن سيدنا و مولانا محمداً عبده ورسوله، وحبيبه وصفيه، بلغ الرسالة وأدى الأمانة ونصح الأمة، النبي الأمي الذي أرسله الله بالهدى والدين الحق، بشيرا ونذيرا بين يدي الساعة، صلى الله عليه وسلم وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.
أما بعد! فيا عباد الله اتقوا الله حق تقاته ولا تموتن إلا وأنتم مسلمون. يأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله وقولوا قولا سديدا يصلح لكم أعمالكم ويغفر لكم ذنوبكم. ومن يطع
الله ورسوله فقد فاز فوزا عظيما. اتقوا الله فيما أمر وانتهوا عما نها عنه وزجر.
There are two vital stages to this journey that millions of Muslims are at this very moment taking: the first, of course, being to visit the House of Allah and fulfil the rites of Hajj, and the second being to visit the Messenger of Allah at his qabr in al-Madina al-Munawwara. Although this second stage of the journey is not, strictly-speaking, one of the rites of Hajj, still no Hajji who wants a complete Hajj, a Hajj that is acceptable to Allah should miss out on it. That is the consensus of the people of knowledge and is the reason why visiting the grave of the Prophet is always mentioned in the books of fiqh in the chapter of Hajj. For example, Ibn Ashir says in his famous Murshid al-Mu’in at the end of the section on hajj,
wa sir li-qabri-l-mustafa bi-adabi wa niyyatin tujab li-kulli matlabi
And Imam an-Nawawi says,
اعلم أنه ينبغي لكل من حجّ أن يتوجه إلى زيارة رسول اللّه صلى اللّه عليه وسلم سواء كان ذلك طريقه أو لم يكن فإن زيارته صلى اللّه عليه وسلم من أهمّ القربات وأربح المساعي وأفضل الطلبات .
“Know that every one who does Hajj should go to visit the Messenger of Allah, regardless of whether it is on his way or not, for visiting him is one of the most important means of drawing near to Allah, one of the most profitable endeavours that can be undertaken and one of the best things that could be asked for.”
This important part of the journey of the Hajj has been messed with in a number of ways. Firstly, by the visit being moved to before the Hajj, which has never been the practice of the Muslims until recent times. This visit is the final piece of the Hajj, not the first piece, and anyone who has the choice should leave it till afterwards, not before. This is clearly indicated in a well-known hadith of the Prophet,
من حجّ إلى مكة ثم قصدني في مسجدي كتبت له حجّتان مبرورتان
“Whoever goes on Hajj to Makka and then comes to visit me in my mosque will have two accepted Hajjs written for him.” He clearly says, thumma, ‘and then’ indicating that there is an order and the visit to the House of Allah comes first.
And secondly, certain factions of the Muslims have sought to downgrade the importance of the visit to the Prophet and say that any visit to Madina must be chiefly for the purpose of praying in the Mosque of the Prophet, not to visit his tomb, for they claim the Messenger of Allah forbade the visiting of tombs. Such selective reading of the hadith and such disregard for the example of all sincere Muslims right back to the time of the Companions can stem only from hearts sorely lacking in love of the Messenger of Allah. For the Messenger of Allah said,
كنت نهيتكم عن زيارة القبور آلا فزوروها فإنها تذكر الآخرة
“I used to forbid you from visiting graves, but now you should visit them for they remind you of the Hereafter.” And he himself used to visit the graves of his Companions in al-Baqi. So, if we are encouraged to visit graves in general, how much greater must the encouragement be to visit that of the very best of creation.
And indeed, whenever any of the Companions returned to Madina after having been away, the very first thing they did was to do that, making their way immediately to his grave. Like Bilal, whose grief at the death of the Messenger had compelled him to leave. But after many years of living in Syria, he had a dream in which the Prophet said to him,
ما هذه الجفوة يا بلال؟ أما آن لك أن تزورني؟
“What is this estrangement, Bilal? Has the time not come for you to come and visit me.” So he set out the very next morning for Madina, and, upon getting there, made straight for the grave, not letting anything distract or delay him from his purpose.” His journey, a journey of a thousand miles, was made with but one purpose, to visit the Prophet’s qabr. For he longed for him and knew that that was where he could once again be in his company. And that is true for every Muslim, especially those coming from Hajj. The Prophet said,
من حج فزار قبري بعد موتي كان كمن زارني في حياتي وصحبني
“If you do Hajj and visit me after my death, it will be like you visited and accompanied me in my lifetime.” By Allah, what an opportunity! How could any sincere Muslim, anyone with even an iota of love in his heart for the Prophet, not drop everything, not give up everything, if it meant spending a single moment in his company? And for most Muslims, this opportunity does not present itself often - at most once or twice in a lifetime! So we cannot afford to waste it or dilute it by travelling to Madina with mixed intentions. You are there to visit the Messenger of Allah, and everything else you do there must follow from that.
And you should know that the area surrounding his grave, the rawda ash-sharifa, is the best spot on the whole of the planet earth, greater even than the haram in Makka. There is no dispute about that, as is made clear by Qadi Iyad in his Shifa.
And you should know that he hears and responds to you when you address him there. The Prophet said,
ما من أحد يسلّم عليّ عند قبري إلا رد الله عليّ روحي حتى أرد عليه السلام
“There is no one who greets me by my graveside except that Allah returns my ruh to me so that I can return his greeting.”
And you should know that the Prophet has promised to intercede and bear witness on behalf of all who visit him in his grave? The Prophet said,
من زار قبري وجبت له شفاعتي
“My intercession is obligatory for all who visit my grave.” Indeed, all who seek forgiveness of Allah in that place through the Prophet will be granted it. Allah says,
ولو أنهم إذ ظلموا أنفسهم جآءوك فاستغفروا الله واستغفر لهم الرسول لوجدوا الله توابا رحيما
the translation of which is, “If only when they wronged themselves they had come to you and asked Allah's forgiveness and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them they would have found Allah Ever-Returning, Most Merciful.” Al-Utbi narrated that he was sitting near the grave of the Messenger when he heard a desert Arab come in, greet the Prophet, recite that aya, and then say, “I have come to you seeking istighfaar for my wrong actions and asked for your intercession with my Lord.” Then the man recited a few lines of poetry in praise of the Prophet and went out, and as soon as he left the eyes of al-Utbi became heavy and he fell asleep. And in his sleep he saw the Prophet who said to him,
يا عتبي إلحق الأعرابي فبشره أن الله قد غفر له
“Utbi, find that desert Arab and give him the good news that Allah has forgiven him.”
And finally you should know that by travelling from Makka to Madina, you are following in the footsteps of the Messenger of Allah and his Companions and emulating him in making hijra. You are going from the House of Allah, where you are imbued with a profound sense of the presence of the Divine and a greater love for your Lord is fostered in your heart, to the City of his Prophet, where you cannot help but feel the sweetness of the Prophetic presence that pervades every part of the city and especially his mosque and qabr, and where your love and yearning for him, and by extension his umma, cannot help but grow. And it is by the combination of those things that this deen is kept strong. So make a firm intention now to visit him.
أقول قولي هذا وأستغفر الله لي ولكم ولسائر المسلمين من كل ذنب فاستغفروه إنه هو الغفور الرَّحيم.
الحمد لله الحمد لله رب العالمين، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أن محمداً عبده ورسوله، صلى الله وسلم وبارك عليه وعلى آله وصحبه، والتابعين وتابعي التابعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.
أما بعد! فيأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله ما استطعتم واسمعوا وأطيعوا وأنفقوا خيرا لأنفسكم. يا عباد الله أوصيكم وإياي بتقوى الله وطاعته وأحذركم وإياي عن معصيته ومخالفته. قال الله سبحانه وتعالى في كتابه الكريم: يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللهَ وابْتَغُوا إِلَيهِ الوَسِيلةَ
Allah says in His Noble Book, the translation of which is, “You who have iman! have taqwa of Allah and seek the wasila/ the means of drawing near to Him.”
As Ibn Ashir indicated in the line from the Murshid al-Mu’in we mentioned earlier, this visit must be done with correct adab and in the proper way. That way has been preserved and passed down to us by the great men of Allah of each generation.
The first part of that is salawat. Just as it is essential to say the talbiya constantly throughout your journey to the House of Allah, so too is it essential to say salawat constantly throughout your journey to visit His Messenger. And that is especially true from the moment the trees at the outskirts of Madina until you take your first footstep into the city, at which time you should greet the Messenger of Allah for the first time and make dua that your visit to him be of benefit.
Then you should straight away head to the mosque of the Prophet, or at the very least go there as soon as you can, for he is the sole reason you came, he is your host and the first thing a guest should do is greet his host. And upon entering into the mosque, you should greet the Messenger of Allah for the second time.
Then you should go straight away to the Rawda/ the Meadow which is that part of the mosque between the grave and the minbar. That place, as we mentioned in the first khutba, is the greatest place upon the earth, for it is a portion of the Garden brought down. The Prophet said,
ما بين منبري وقبري روضة من رياض الجنة، ومنبري على ترعة من ترع الجنة
“The area between my house and the minbar is one of the meadows (rawdas) of the Garden. My minbar is on one of the raised gardens of the Garden.”
While there, you should first pray two rak‘ats, and then approach the grave with humility and respect, and facing his face, you should greet him for a third time.
And when standing before the grave of the Messenger of Allah, you should face him, standing adjacent to his face, and not raise your voice. In his shifa, Qadi Iyad narrates that Abu Ja'far, the amir al-muminin, was arguing with Malik in the Prophet's Mosque, so Malik said,
يا أمير المؤمنين، لا ترفع صوتك في هذا المسجد فإن الله تعالى أدّب قوما فقال: لا ترفعوا أصواتكم فوق صوت النبي...، ومدح قوما فقال: إن الذين يغضون أصواتهم عند رسول الله أولئك الذين امتحن الله قلوبهم للتقوى لهم مغفرة وأجر عظيم، وذم قوما فقال: إن الذين ينادونك من وراء الحجرات أكثرهم لا يعقلون. وإن حرمته ميتا كحرمته حيا
‘Amir al-Mu'minin, do not raise your voice in this mosque. Allah taught the people how to behave by saying, “Do not raise your voices above the Prophet.” He praises people with the words, “Those who lower their voices in the presence of the Messenger of Allah.” And He censures people, saying, “As for those who call out to you from outside your private quarters, most of them do not use their intellect.” Respect for him when he is dead is the same as respect for him when he was alive.’
“Abu Ja‘far was humbled by this and became still. Then he asked Malik whether he should face the qibla when he made dua there or face the Messenger of Allah?’ Malik replied,
ولِم تصرف وجهك عنه وهو وسيلتك ووسيلة أبيك آدم عليه السلام إلى الله تعالى يوم القيامة ؟ بل استقبله واستشفع به فيشفعه الله قال الله تعالى :ولو أنهم إذ ظلموا أنفسهم جآءوك
‘Why would you turn your face from him when he is your wasila/ means and the means of your father, Adam, to Allah on the Day of Rising? I face him and ask him to intercede and Allah will grant his intercession. Allah says, “If, when you wronged yourselves, they had come to you.”’ This is the correct way to conduct yourself when visiting the Messenger of Allah. And you should try to visit him every day you are there, and endeavour to spend as much time by his graveside in his company as you are able. It is a wonderful opportunity.
We ask Allah to increase us and all those who visit the Messenger of Allah in love of him, and we ask that He rid this umma of all those who treat him with disrespect and bar access to those who seek to visit their beloved. We ask Allah to convey our salaams to the Messenger of Allah and unite us with him in this world and the Next. And we ask that he grant us his shafa’a on that day when no shafa’a is accepted except his.
إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ، يَا أَيُهَا الذِينَ آمَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَبَارِكْ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ. وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيٍّ، وعن خديجة وعائشة وسائر أزواج النبي، وَعَنْ سَائِرِ الصَّحَابَةِ أَجْمَعِينَ، خُصُوصاً اِلأَنْصَارَ مِنْهُمْ وَالمُهَاجِرِينَ، وَعَنِ التَّابِعِينَ وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ وَمَنْ تَبِعَهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّينِ.
اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِ وُلَاةَ أُمُورِ المُسْلِمِينَ لِمَا يُرْضِيكَ وَلِاتِّبَاعِ سُنَّةِ نَبِيِّكَ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَهُمْ عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ المُسْتَقِيمِ، وَأَصْلِحْهُمْ يَا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى شَيْخِنَا، وَعَلَى أَمِيرِنَا، وَعَلَى جَمِيعِ أُمَرَاءِ وَزُعَمَاءِ المُسْلِمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى المُسْلِمِينَ فِي هَذِهِ المَدِينَةِ، وَوَفِّقْهُمْ لِمَا تُحِبُّهُ وَتَرْضَاهُ يَا أَكْرَمَ الأَكْرَمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ أَعِزَّ الإِسْلَامَ وَالمُسِْلمِينَ (3) وَاخْذُلِ الْكُفْرَ وَالْكَافِرِينَ، وَانْصُرِ المُجَاهِدِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ. وَاجْعَلْ كَلِمََتَكَ هِيَ العُلْيَا وَكَلِمَةَ الْكُفْرِ هِيَ السُّفْلَى.
رَبَّنَا ءَاتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقَِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.
إِنَّ اللهَ يَامُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَّكَّرُونَ، وَلَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَرُ وَاللهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ. وَقُومُواْ إِلَى صَلاتِكُمْ يَرْحَمُكُمُ اللهُ.