Playing with snakes, performing sorcery and selling amulets

Question: I am a Muslim, as are my parents and grandparents. I believe in Islaam in my heart, have Eemaan (Faith), do good deeds, and behave in accordance with the teachings of Islaam, except that which I have no knowledge of. I have two Muslim friends; one of them follows the Al-`Uloowiyyah Tareeqah (Sufi order), which is named after Shaykh Ibn `Ulwah Al-Mustaghnee. He established a number of Sufi Zawiya (lodges) that are all called Masjid Al-Zuhd. I have other friends following the Hamdawah Tareeqah, and they play with fire and practice magic. Other friends of mine follow the `Issawah Tareeqah and they tame snakes, practice magic, and sell amulets to protect the people from snakes and from being harmed by the Jinn (creatures created from fire), etc. Another one of my brothers is a fighter in the National Liberation Front and another has joined the Muslim Scouts. Which of these Tariqahs is the most correct? Will the followers of these paths be rewarded or called to account due to their practices, and what is the evidence for that? Please guide me to the truth, as I cannot decide which path is correct and which is wrong, maybe because I am not well-versed in Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence). Is there any good in these superstitions; if they are really superstitions?

Answer: The sound path is the path of Islaam, which was revealed in the Qur’aan and clarified by the Messenger of Allaah, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). This way necessitates belief in Allaah, His Angels, Books, Messengers, the Last Day, and the Divine Decree, whether good or bad, sweet or bitter. It also entails a declaration of the Shahaadah (Testimony of Faith), testifying to Tawheed (the Oneness of Allaah) and to the Message of Allaah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to all the people, establishing Salaah (Prayer), paying Zakaah (obligatory charity), Sawm (Fasting) in Ramadaan, and performing Hajj to the Ka`bah (in Makkah). Islaam requires enjoining what is good, forbidding what is evil, striving to support Islaam, being patient on experiencing hardship while protecting and spreading it, adhering to the Muslim mainstream, loving and hating for the Sake of Allaah, and other teachings revealed through the Qur’aan and the Sunnah… read more here.

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The beliefs of some grave worshippers

Question: I was told that in Algeria, there are people known for their holding graves in veneration. They adopt false beliefs with regard to graves like performing Tawaf (circumambulation) around them three times in their cars thinking this will avert any harm from the passengers. Also, a man among them recites an invocation on the stone placed under the dead person’s head saying, ‘You so-and-so when asked the following questions…’ – then, he mentions the questions and adds, ‘If asked these questions, answer them in the following manner and do not lose answer lest you should be one of the losers. If you answer, I guarantee Paradise for you and you will be rightly guided etc.

What is the ruling on these deeds? Is it permissible to pray behind them or deal with them when necessary?

Answer: Their deeds which you have mentioned are Bid`ahs (innovations in religion)and their circumambulating the grave is an abominable act and Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship)… read more here.

Where is the grave of Al-Husayn (may Allaah be pleased with him)?

Question: The Egyptians claim that the head of Al-Husayn is buried in Egypt, and the Iraqi’s have a Masjid (mosque) that they call Al-Mashhad Al-Husaynee. I do not know how true that is. Where is the grave of Al-Husayn, according to the preponderant opinion?

Answer: Al-Husayn (may Allaah be pleased with him) was killed in Iraq in Muharram, 61 A.H. And his body was buried in Iraq… read more here.

Saying: “`Alee (may Allaah honor his face)”

Question: What is the degree of authenticity of the people’s saying: ” `Alee, may Allaah honor his face”?

Answer: There is no basis (i.e. from the Book or Sunnah) for specifying this saying to `Alee (may Allaah be pleased with him). Rather, it is of the excessive reverence of Shiites for him… read more here.

He who says 200 times: “Verily, (Allaah) is Able to bring him back”, will find his lost object

Question: If someone loses something and says: Verily, (Allaah) is Able to bring him back (to life)! 200 times, will what was lost be returned or not?

Answer: This is not confirmed in the Book of Allaah or the Saheeh (authentic) Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and it is not an ordinary reason for lost items to be returned; instead it is using the Qur’aan for something other than what was revealed for… read more here.

Banquets offered for the sake of Awliyaa’

Question: What is the ruling on banquets held annually in the honor of Awliyaa’ (pious people)? In our country, there are banquets for which people pay a lot of money, and naive people believe that this is obligatory for them.

Answer: It is not permissible to make banquets in the name of Awliyaa’, because this is a Bid`ah (innovation in religion). It is authentically reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Anyone who does an action which is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islaam) will have it rejected. Similarly, it is not permissible for Muslims to attend such banquets as it is a kind of cooperation in sin and transgression… read more here.

Putting one’s belongings on the graves of righteous persons out of fear of losing them

Question: Some people leave their trusts and possessions by the graves of pious people, thinking that the dead will guard them and that they will not be stolen, rifled, or taken.

Answer: Believing that the dead can guard what is put by their graves is open Kufr (disbelief) and also involves Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship) that merits, for those who die while still doing this, eternity in the Fire… read more here.

Seeking cure through the water of a well called Ayyoob’s Well

Question: A shaykh told me that one of the shuyookh who had passed away appeared to his father and to another man in a Ru’yaa (true dream), and told his father to build a shrine for him. So he did, and his dead body was found intact and unaltered. It is known that these shrines are frequented by people, and this might lead them to Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship) as stated by Ibn Taymiyyah. 

People circumambulate these shrines and supplicate to Allaah through them. Some Sufis told me that if a shaykh dies without performing a Karaamah (an extraordinary event caused by Allaah for or through a pious person), he appears to one of the leaders in a Ru’yaa and orders him to build a shrine for him. This is impermissible in Sharee`ah according to the opinion of the Salaf (righteous predecessors). Is the one that appears in the Ru’yaa the shaykh or Satan? Can we believe in this and carry out this order?

Answer: This story is not true. The place where Ayyoob washed his body is unknown… read more here.

Seeking cure through the water of a well called Ayyoob’s Well

Question: In Egypt, there is a spring in Sinai said to be the same spring at which Allaah enjoined Prophet Ayyoob to strike the ground with his foot when he was afflicted with a disease then Allaah (Exalted be He) cured him. A woman in our neighborhood was afflicted with a disease and wanted to go to the spring to strike the ground with her foot just as Ayyoob, Allaah’s Prophet, (peace be upon him) did. Is it permissible for her to wash with the water of this spring to be cured? Or would it be Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship) and Isti`aanah (Seeking help) from things other than Allaah?

Answer: This story is not true. The place where Ayyoob washed his body is unknown… read more here.

Performing Salaah behind an Imaam who keeps committing Bid`ah

Question: Is it permissible to offer Salaah (Prayer) behind an Imaam who makes amulets for others? Also, in times of drought, he tells people to buy a ram or a cow and slaughter it for the children to eat to make the rain fall. Is it permissible to offer Salaah behind an Imaam who makes vows and slaughters animals for the sake of other than Allaah (Exalted be He)?

Answer: Firstly, It is permissible to offer Salaah behind an Imaam who makes amulets containing Aayaat from the Qur’aan and lawful supplications. However, they should not write them, because it is not permissible to wear them; if the amulets contain matters of Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship)… read more here.

Removing shoes during greetings, for example, Scholars of Islaam; based upon Soorah Taa-Haa: “So take off your shoes”

Question: What is the ruling on taking off shoes upon greeting anyone, for some scholars see that this is permissible citing Allaah’s saying in Soorah Taa-Haa: So take off your shoes Is this true?

Answer: It is not permissible to take off shoes upon greeting as far as texts of the Qur’aan and Sunnah are concerned… read more here.