The grave of Ahmad Al-Yasawy in Kazakhstan

Q: I am a citizen of the Republic of Kazakhstan. There is a grave in my country for a man called Ahmad Al-Yasawy which people visit to perform pilgrimage and acts of worship. What is the ruling on this? May Allah reward you. What is your advice to the Muslim brothers in Kazakhstan? May Allah reward you.

A: Islam is based on five pillars, which the Prophet (peace be upon him) clarified in his saying, Islam is based on five pillars: testifying that there in no god but Allah and that Muhammad (Part No. 1; Page No. 148) is the Messenger of Allah, offering Salah (Prayer), giving Zakah, observing Sawm (fasting) in Ramadan and performing Hajj for those who are able to perform it. The meaning of testifying that there is no God but Allah is that none should be worshipped but Allah. Thus, all forms of `Ibadah (worship), whether outward or inward, such as fear, hope, love, repentance, Salah (Prayer), Sawm (fasting), Hajj, vowing, slaughtering animals, Du`a' (supplication) and seeking help should be dedicated only to Allah. This is Tawhid (monotheism) other than which Allah does not accept, and which leads its believer to Jannah (Paradise) and away from Hellfire. This is shown in many texts of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, such as Allah's saying, Worship Allâh and join none with Him (in worship) His saying, And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allâh (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Tâghût (all false deities i.e. do not worship Tâghût besides Allâh).” His saying, And I (Allâh) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone). His saying, Verily! Allâh forgives not (the sin of) setting up partners (in worship) with Him, but He forgives whom He wills sins other than that, and whoever sets up partners in worship with Allâh, has indeed strayed far away. His saying, ...and whoever sets up partners with Allâh (in worship), he has indeed invented a tremendous sin. His saying, Verily, whosoever sets up partners (in worship) with Allâh, then Allâh has forbidden Paradise to him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers) there are no helpers. (Part No. 1; Page No. 149) His saying, Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): "Verily, my Salât (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allâh, the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists). "He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims." and His saying, Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only). The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said, Whoever dies while still invoking a rival (in worship) to Allah will enter Hellfire. Related by Al-Bukhari in his Sahih (authentic) Book of Hadith. The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said, Anyone who meets Allah without associating anything with Him will enter Jannah (Paradise); and anyone who meets Him associating (anything) with Him will enter Hellfire. Related by Muslim in his Sahih Book of Hadith.This is Tawhid which is Allah's right over His slaves. Those who give this right or some of it to anyone other than Allah have committed major Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship that takes the Muslim out of Islam) and Kufr (disbelief), such as those who supplicate to the dead and seek their help to bring benefit or ward off harm, slaughter animals or make vows for them. Allah (Exalted be He) shows the error and delusion of those who supplicate to anyone other than Him in His saying, "And invoke not besides Allâh, any such that will neither profit you nor harm you, but if (in case) you did so, you shall certainly be one of the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers)." And if Allâh touches you with harm, there is none who can remove it but He, and if He intends any good for you, there is none who can repel His Favour which He causes it to reach whomsoever of His slaves He wills. And He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful. (Part No. 1; Page No. 150) He (Glorified and Exalted be He) also says, Verily, those whom you worship besides Allâh have no power to give you provision: so seek your provision from Allâh (Alone), and worship Him (Alone), and be grateful to Him. To Him (Alone) you will be brought back. He (Glorified and Exalted be He) also says, And who is more astray than one who calls on (invokes) besides Allâh, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) to them? And when mankind are gathered (on the Day of Resurrection), they (false deities) will become their enemies and will deny their worshipping. He (Glorified be He) also says, Is not He (better than your gods) Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls on Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generations after generations? Is there any ilâh (god) with Allâh? Little is that you remember! Thus, what the people of your village do including circumambulating around the grave to get closer to the dead man is considered a form of major Shirk that renders a person out of the fold of Islam. If they do it to get closer to Allah and think that doing it by the grave is a means for it to be accepted, this is innovated Tawassul (seeking to draw close to Allah through unlawful means) and a means leading to Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship). They should perform Tawbah (repentance to Allah) of this deed and worship Allah Alone.Everyone should learn the pillars of Islam and Iman (Faith) as they were mentioned in the Qur'an and the Sunnah, and as clarified by the scholars of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream). (Part No. 1; Page No. 151) They should also beware of committing deeds that invalidate Iman and Islam, whether Shirk or others. A person who is granted knowledge and understanding should call for Tawhid in the most suitable and useful ways. Allah (Exalted be He) says, And who is better in speech than he who [says: "My Lord is Allâh (believes in His Oneness)," and then stands firm (acts upon His Order), and] invites (men) to Allâh’s (Islâmic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds, and says: "I am one of the Muslims." He (Glorified be He) also says, Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم): "This is my way; I invite unto Allâh (i.e. to the Oneness of Allâh - Islâmic Monotheism) with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me (also must invite others to Allâh i.e. to the Oneness of Allâh - Islâmic Monotheism with sure knowledge). And Glorified and Exalted be Allâh (above all that they associate as partners with Him). And I am not of the Mushrikûn (polytheists, pagans, idolaters and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh; those who worship others along with Allâh or set up rivals or partners to Allâh)." May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.