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Walking with shoes in the mosque

Is it true that Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab said that walking with shoes in the mosque is something which is allowed in Islam, and that visiting graves is haraam? Please advise us, may Allaah reward you with good.

Praise be to Allaah. 

Where did you get this from? We tell you that this is a big lie.

Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab (may Allaah have mercy on him) was a man of knowledge, a scholar. He did not say these things. What he urged people to do, as is written in his books, is to turn to Allaah when they pray, and to be focused in their prayer, in obedience to the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning):

“Successful indeed are the believers.

Those who offer their Salaah (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness” [al-Mu’minoon 23:1-2]

- because the person who is praying must acknowledge the greatness of the One before Whom he is standing. So he should not move too much, as it says in the report: “If the heart is focused then the limbs will be still.” Some scholars attributed this to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), but al-Haafiz ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said: The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not say this, and there is no saheeh isnaad reporting that he said, “If the heart is focused then the limbs will be still”- even though the meaning is sound. This is the saying of one of the salaf. And this is what Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab said.

With regard to walking with shoes in the mosque and his saying that this is allowed in Islam, this is not correct. Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab did not say that walking with shoes in the mosque is something which is allowed in Islam. He said the same as was narrated in the ahaadeeth, which is that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When any one of you comes to the mosque, let him look at his shoes, and if he sees anything dirty on them, let him wipe them, because they may be purified by rubbing them with dust.” This refers to shoes and to the mosque at that time [which was simple and unfurnished]. However, if the mosque is furnished [with carpets and the like], we should keep it clean from shoes and not enter wearing shoes, lest we make the place dirty by bringing in something unclean on our shoes. This was indicated by some of the scholars and is part of what Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab said. He did not say that it is allowed in Islam to enter the mosque with shoes.

With regard to it being haraam to visit graves, he did not say this at all. Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab followed the ahaadeeth, and the hadeeth says: “”I used to forbid you to visit graves, but now [you should] visit them, for they are a reminder of the Hereafter.” (Narrated by Muslim, no. 977). And he (may Allaah have mercy on him) said to those who visit graves that when they visit them, they must abide by the etiquette of Islam and make du’aa’ as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught his companions: when you enter the graveyard, say: “Peace be upon you, dwellers of these abodes, believers and Muslims. We will, whenever Allaah wills, join you. May Allaah have mercy on those of you who were first (to die) and those who were last. I beg of Allaah salvation for us and for you. O Allaah, deprive us not of reward (similar to theirs) and lead us not astray after they are gone, and forgive us and them.” (Saheeh Muslim, no. 974, 975)

This is what the ahaadeeth say, and Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab affirmed this in his books. But what he said was: People should not travel specifically to visit graves. This is the view of Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab, in accordance with the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed in al-Saheehayn, where it says that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“Journeys should not be undertaken to visit (any place) except three: al-Masjid al-Haraam [in Makkah], this mosque of mine [in Madeenah] and al-Masjid al-Aqsaa [in al-Quds/Jerusalem].” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2/50;Muslim, 827; al-Nasaa’i, 1/277-287). He said: This hadeeth indicates that it is not permissible to travel specifically to visit graves, but if you visit them in your own city, for example, or those that do not require travel specifically to visit them, then this is OK. The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to visit graves, such as the graveyard of al-Baqee’, and he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)  visited the graves of the shuhadaa’ (martyrs) and made du’aa’ for them. This is something which is well known. What is forbidden is travelling specifically to visit graves. This is something which we should not do, according to the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed. Hence al-Qaadi ‘Iyaad al-Maaliki said: It is not permissible to travel specifically to visit graves. This was also the view of Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, Ibn ‘Aqeel, Ibn Battah and a group of scholars. All that was said to you is not correct, as we have explained to you. And Allaah knows best.

Fataawa Samaahat al-Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Humayd p. 81
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