Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
We have heard of this false letter many times for many years; it spreads among the people from time to time and has become widespread among the common folk. Its wording varies, but the writer says that he has seen the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in a dream and he gave him this message to pass on… This fabricator makes many claims in his letter that are obvious lies and blatantly false. I have drawn attention to it in the past, and have explained to people that it is obviously false. When I looked at this latest version I hesitated to write about it, because it is obviously false and because the fabricator has the great audacity to tell such lies. I did not think that its falseness would trick anyone who has the least insight or common sense.
But many brothers have told me that this letter has deceived many people, and they have circulated it amongst themselves, and some of them have believed it. Because of that I thought that people like me should write about it, so as explain that it is false and that it is a fabrication against the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), so that no one will be deceived by it. Anyone with knowledge and faith, or a sound nature and common sense who studies this letter will realize that it is a lie and a fabrication in many ways.
I asked one of the relatives of Shaykh Ahmad to whom this lie is attributed about this letter, and he told me that it is falsely attributed to Shaykh Ahmad, and he never said this at all. The Shaykh Ahmad mentioned here died a while ago. Even if we assume that this Shaykh Ahmad or someone greater than him claimed to have seen the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in a dream or whilst awake, and he gave him this advice, we would know for certain that he was lying, or that the one who said that to him was the Shaytaan, and not the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), for many reasons, including the following:
The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would not say anything but that which is the truth, either during his life or after his death. This letter clearly goes against his sharee’ah in many ways – as we shall see below. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) may be seen in a dream, and the one who sees him in his true form has indeed seen him, because the Shaytaan cannot appear in his form, as it says in the saheeh hadeeth. But it all depends on the faith, sincerity, good character, accuracy, religious commitment and trustworthiness of the one who claims to have seen him, and whether he saw the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in his true form or in some other form. If there is a hadeeth that was narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) who supposedly said it during his lifetime, but it is not transmitted by trustworthy men of good character, it cannot be accepted or used as evidence; or it is transmitted by trustworthy and accurate narrators, but it goes against a report narrated by stronger narrators and cannot possibly be reconciled with that more accurate and more trustworthy report, then one of them is abrogated and cannot be followed, and the second one abrogates it and is to be followed wherever possible and when its conditions are met. If that is not possible and they cannot be reconciled, then the report which is less reliable should be rejected. The ruling in this case is that it is odd (shaadhdh) and should not be followed. So how about a letter whose author, who supposedly narrated it from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), is unknown and it is not known whether he is trustworthy or not? In this case it should be rejected and no attention should be paid to it, even if it contains nothing that goes against sharee’ah, so how about if the letter contains many things that indicate that it is false and that it is falsely attributed to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and it includes rulings [?] that Allaah has not permitted? The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever attributes words to me that I did not say, let him take his place in Hell.” End quote.
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan wrote an article about this letter, warning against it, which was published in al-Da’wah magazine, issue no. 1082, in which he said:
This fabricated letter is old. It appeared in Egypt more than eighty years ago, and the scholars refuted it and ruled it to be false, and they pointed out the lies and falsehoods it contains. One of the scholars was Shaykh Muhammad Rasheed Rida, who said in his refutation of this letter:
We answered this question in 1322 AH, and we remember that we have seen something like this letter many times from when we were learning how to read and write until now. All of them are attributed to a man called Shaykh Ahmad, the Watchman of the Prophet’s Tomb. The letter is definitely false, and no one who has had the faintest whiff of knowledge and religion would dispute that. Rather it is only the simple-minded among the illiterate masses who believe it.
Then he refuted it at length, refuting each fabrication contained in the letter. Moreover this letter has been warmly accepted by some of the ignorant, and they started to print it and distribute it, because they were influenced by the promises and warnings contained therein, because this immoral person who composed it said that whoever makes x number of copies and distributes it will get what he wants, and if he is a sinner Allaah will forgive him, and if he is employed he will be promoted, and if he is in debt his debt will be paid off, and whoever disbelieves it will be humiliated and such and such bad consequences will come to him. When some of the ignorant read this, they are affected by it and they go ahead and distribute it out of fear and greed.
The scholars have stated that this letter is false and they have warned people against distributing it and believing in it. These scholars include Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, who refuted it in an excellent article and pointed out the lies and deception that it contains. This letter is false for a number of reasons:
the rulings of Islam, the promises and warnings, and information about what the future holds are all matters that can only be proven through revelation from Allaah to His Messenger. Revelation came to an end when the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died, after Allaah had perfected the religion through him. We have inherited the Qur’aan and Sunnah which are sufficient to guide us. As for dreams and visions, they do not prove anything, because most of them are the fabrications of the devils, aimed at leading people astray from their religion. The fabricators of this letter promise those who believe in it that they will enter Paradise and that their needs will be met and they will be relieved of distress, and they warn those who disbelieve in it that they will go to Hell and be humiliated. This is prescribing a new religion and telling lies against Allaah – we seek refuge with Allaah from that.
The fabricator of this letter makes it greater than the Qur’aan, because one who copies the Qur’aan and sends it from one country to another will not get the reward which this liar says the one who distributes this letter will get; and the one who does not copy the Qur’aan and send it from one country to another will not be denied the intercession of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) if he is a believer – so how can the believer be denied intercession if he does not copy this letter and send it from one country to another as this fabricator says?
This letter makes a claim to have knowledge of the unseen, as it says in it: “this Friday about six thousand (6,000) people Died but none of them went to heaven”. This is a claim to have knowledge of the unseen which no one knows except Allaah, for He is the One Who knows how many people die in Islam and how many die in kufr. Whoever claims to have knowledge of the unseen is a kaafir who disbelieves in Allaah.
Reward and punishment in this world and in the Hereafter can only be proven by a text from the Book of Allaah or the Sunnah of His Messenger. This fabricator says that those who believe in this letter will be rewarded and those who disbelieve in it and do not distribute it will be punished. Allaah has proven it to be a lie – praise be to Allaah – because many Muslims have disbelieved in it and believed it to be a forgery, and nothing but good has happened to them, whilst those who believed in it and distributed it have been met with nothing but disappointment and loss.
Moreover this fabricator wants to make the masses and the ignorant believe in this letter, so he swears an oath by Allaah repeatedly, that he is sincere and that his letter is true, and that if he is lying, may he exit this world following a religion other than Islam. He wants to make a show of loving Islam and hating sin and evil, so that people will think well of him and believe him.
This is part of his evil scheming, and indeed of his stupidity and ignorance. Swearing and making repeated oaths does not indicate that everyone who does so is sincere. Many liars swear oaths in order to deceive the people. Iblees swore to our parents [Adam and Hawwa – peace be upon them],
“Verily, I am one of the sincere well-wishers for you both”
[ al-A’raaf 7:21 – interpretation of the meaning].
And Allaah said to His Prophet (interpretation of the meaning):
“And (O Muhammad) obey you not everyone Hallaaf Maheen (the one who swears much and is a liar or is worthless)”
Allaah tells us that the hypocrites swear when telling lies, and they do that knowingly, as He says of them (interpretation of the meaning):
“they will indeed swear that their intention is nothing but good. Allaah bears witness that they are certainly liars”
Does this ignorant fool think that if he fabricates lies against Allaah and His Messenger in this letter and swears at the end of it, that the Muslims will believe him and accept his words? No way! As for his making a show of feeling proud of Islam and being pained by evil deeds, this is a kind of statement which is aimed at making people think well of him and accept what he says, but he does not realize that the accursed Pharaoh made a show of being sincere and kind to his people when he said, preventing them from following Moosa (peace be upon him),
“I fear that he may change your religion, or that he may cause mischief to appear in the land”
[Ghaafir 40:26 – interpretation of the meaning]
Not everyone who appears to be offering advice and to be proud of Islam is sincere. The warnings against evil and sin that are narrated in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and their descriptions of the resulting punishments are sufficient for those who have faith.
Perhaps someone may ask, what is the goal of the author of this letter? What is the motive that made him fabricate it and distribute it?
The answer is that his goal is to mislead people away from the Book of their Lord and the Sunnah of their Prophet, and towards myths and false stories. If they believe him in this and it becomes widely accepted among them, then he will invent more and more for them, so that they will be distracted by that from the Qur’aan and Sunnah, then it will be easy to introduce more false ideas to them and change their beliefs. For so long as the Muslims adhere to the Book of their Lord and the Sunnah of their Prophet, those who seek to misguide them will never be able to divert them away from their religion, but if they forsake the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and believe in myths and stories and devilish dreams, it will be easy for any misleader and heretic to lead them astray. There may be secret kaafir organizations behind this, who are working to distribute these fabrications in order to lead the Muslims astray from their religion. This is indicated by the fact that this myth has been around for a century, and it is unlikely that its inventor is still alive. So if there were not someone working to distribute it after his death, it would not have appeared. So beware, O Muslims, of believing in these fabrications. Do not distribute them amongst yourselves, and ask the scholars about anything that you do not understand.
The enemies of Allaah and His Messenger among the kaafirs, hypocrites and devils of the jinn and mankind are always trying to lead people astray from the true religion and make them follow false religions; to lead them astray from the path that leads to Paradise and make them follow the path that leads to Hell, from following the Messengers to following the devils and those who lead people astray. So they used to distort the laws of the Prophets and alter the Books that were revealed to the Messengers, as they did with the Tawraat (Torah) and Injeel (Gospel). When Allaah sent the Seal of the Prophets – Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) – and revealed to him the Holy Qur’aan and the straight path, He guaranteed to preserve the Qur’aan and protect it from being changed and altered. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur’aan) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption)”
“Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it, (it is) sent down by the All‑Wise, Worthy of all praise”
And He protected the Sunnah of His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) from the lies of the liars by means of the keen efforts of the trustworthy scholars who preserved it and transmitted it, and eliminated the fabrications of the liars who tried to interfere with it. So they set out guidelines and principles by means of which the saheeh (sound) hadeeths could be distinguished from false hadeeths, and they compiled the saheeh hadeeths and protected them, and they listed the false hadeeths and fought them and warned people against them. Because the enemies of Allaah and His Messenger were unable to introduce false ideas into the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, they resorted to attempting to divert the people away from the Qur’aan and Sunnah and distract them with false stories and alleged dreams, filled with false promises and warnings which may tempt and deceive those who are weak in faith and ignorant, and lead many of them into shirk and heresy and innovation in the name of religion, worship and asceticism, following these myths.
The way of these deviants is not based on the Qur’aan and Sunnah, rather it is based on false stories and so-called dreams. So they go astray from true guidance and forsake the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, and pay heed to the whispers of the Shaytaan. This is the recompense of the one who turns away from the Qur’aan and Sunnah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And whosoever turns away blindly from the remembrance of the Most Gracious (Allaah) (i.e. this Qur’aan and worship of Allaah), We appoint for him Shaytaan (Satan ‑ devil) to be a Qareen (a companion) to him.
And verily, they (Satans / devils) hinder them from the path (of Allaah), but they think that they are guided aright!”
So fear Allaah, O slaves of Allaah, and adhere to the Book of your Lord and the Sunnah of your Prophet, and beware of false ideas propagated by the enemies of Islam.
May Allaah help us all to adhere to the Qur’aan and Sunnah. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon His family and companions.