`Abdul-Rahim Al-Tahhan's views

Q: We received some audio tapes of two eminent scholars, Sheikh Muhammad Nasir Al-Din Al-Albany the Muhaddith (Hadith scholar) of the Levant (the region covering Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine), and Shaykh Muqbil ibn Hady Al-Wadi`y the Muhaddith of Yemen. In these tapes the two distinguished Sheikhs spoke about the renowned Da`iyah (caller to Islam) `Abdul-Rahim Al-Tahhan for they received some letters and inquiries from some of Ahl-ul-Sunnah (those adhering to the Sunnah) in Qatar about the soundness of some opinions that were ascribed to Al-Tahhan such as: (Part No. 2; Page No. 168) 1- That imitating the Four Madh-habs (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi`, and Hanbali) is Wajib (obligatory) and that rejecting them is nothing but deviation.2- That he denies entirely the principles of Jarh (criticism of Hadith narrators) and Ta`dil (validating the uprightness of Hadith narrators).3- That he, Al-Tahhan, praises highly the Sufis and accuses those who oppose them of being going astray.4- That he is of the opinion that the dead can hear in their graves. He also believes that they perform Salah (Prayer) in their graves and see whomever visits them.5- His opinion that it is possible for a person to see the Prophet (peace be upon him) in this world while they are awake. He mentioned as proof that Nur Al-Din Zinky saw the Prophet in this world while he was awake.6- His claim that looking at the face of the Prophet (peace be upon him) or the faces of the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) is equivalent to offering `Ibadah (worship) for thousands of years and that looking at the face of Imam Ahmad is equivalent to offering `Ibadah for one year.It is worth mentioning that some of our Muslim brothers here in Egypt justify Al-Tahhan's position by saying that he may mean Sufis who are praised by the Shaykh of Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah be merciful to him) in his booklet Al-Sufiyyah Wal-Fuqara' (Sufis and the poor). They also say that seeing the Prophet (peace be upon him) in this world may be possible. A proof for this, they proceed, is that some pilgrims saw `Abdullah ibn Al-Mubarak (may Allah be merciful to him) performing Hajj with them though he did not actually go for Hajj in that year. When they returned back from Hajj they told `Abdullah ibn Al-Mubarak that they saw him there and he did not comment. (Part No. 2; Page No. 169) Is this story correct and may it be used as a proof for the possibility of seeing the Prophet (peace be upon him) in this world while a person is awake?Did Al-Tahhan divert from the way of Ahl-ul-Sunnah to the way of the people of Bid`ah (innovations in religion) after he left Al-Hijaz and moved to Qatar? Should we consider Al-Tahhan a Mubtadi` (one who introduces innovations in religion)? Is it correct that the dead can hear from their graves? Is not imitating the Four Madh-habs considered deviation and turning away from the straight path?Are these opinions ascribed authentically to Al-Tahhan? If so, are they correct?We are here in Egypt disturbed by the matter of Al-Tahhan. We would like to know whether he ended up following the way of Ahl-ul-Sunnah or that of the people of Bid`ah? Please provide us with your answer as soon as possible.

A: All these opinions which are ascribed to `Abdul-Rahim Al-Tahhan are false and people must be warned against them. They all violate the Qur'an and Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet, peace be upon him). However, a person has not to imitate any scholar. Rather, opinions of scholars have only to be followed when there is evidence for them.All Muslims must follow the Messenger (peace be upon him) for he is the model to be emulated by all believers as Allah (Glorified be He) states: Indeed in the Messenger of Allâh (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) you have a good example to follow. (Part No. 2; Page No. 170) Allah (Exalted be He) also states: And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it). On the other hand, the principle of Jarh and Ta`dil of narrators is agreed upon amongst scholars to examine the authenticity of Hadith not to defame people or speak evil of them. However, only well-versed scholars of Hadith are allowed to practice Jarh and Ta`dil. Besides, Sufism is a Bid`ah (innovation in religion) for which Allah has sent down no authority. Most Sufis of today are deviant and astray, and it is impermissible to praise them. Rather, it is Wajib (obligatory) to follow the Sunnah. Concerning the dead hearing in their graves, this is something that cannot be proven except by evidence. It is something that relates to the conditions of Barzakh (period between death and the Resurrection) that no one knows except Allah. Even if a specific incidence of the dead hearing in their graves had been authentically reported, this would not validate making Du`a' (supplication) to the dead or seeking their help; as doing so is a form of major Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship).In addition, it is impossible for anyone to see the Prophet (peace be upon him) or anyone who has passed away while they are awake. Those who consider this possible cannot present any proof for their view. This is because the deceased do not return to this world, and Allah (Exalted be He) says: (Part No. 2; Page No. 171)  Do they not see how many of the generations We have destroyed before them? Verily, they will not return to them. He (Glorified be He) also states: After that, surely, you will die. Then (again), surely, you will be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection. Finally, claiming that looking at the face of the Prophet (peace be upon him) or anyone else brings any benefit is incorrect, for many Kafirs (disbelievers) and hypocrites did so and it did not benefit them. People only benefit from their Iman (belief) in Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) and from their good deeds.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.