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Younus AlGohar's answer to a viewer who asked him to discuss why people visit the shrines of various saints even though Prophet Mohammad instructed people not to visit graves after his demise and to only seek help from God.
- Firstly it has to be determined why a person visits a shrine and what his intentions are for going there. Obviously, prostration is only for God and this is well understood among Muslims. However, those who begrudge the saints tend to exaggerate what the visitors at the shrines of saints do. Visiting the shrines is not wrong.
- There are two types of prostrations. One is Sajda-e-Raboobiyat in which one prostrates before the Creator. The other is Sajda-e-Tazeemi (Prostration of Respect) which has been performed to saints, Prophets and Messengers. God commanded the Archangels to prostrate before Adam the Eminent One; this was not Sajda-e-Raboobiyat, it was Sajda-e-Tazeemi. This means that Sajda-e-Tazeemi is a custom given by God. Therefore, the prophets and messengers all allowed it.
- Sharia is not the complete Islam, it is only a part of Islam. When Prophet Mohammad noticed that the way the nation of Bani Israel had exploited the Prostration of Respect, to be on the safe side, he declared the Prostration of Respect to be forbidden in his Sharia. The Jews and Christians of the Arab peninsula had developed a custom of worshipping shrines. Had Prophet Mohammad not declared it to be prohibited, then this custom the nation of Bani Israel would have become a part of Islam.
- There were many reasons why Prophet Mohammad forbade the Prostration of Respect in his Sharia. One reason is that the Arab nation was incredibly arrogant and ignorant; the leaders of every tribe would have had their people prostrate to them. The Arab nation relished being praised and worshipped; they would write poetry praising themselves and their own ancestors. So Prophet Mohammad's reason for forbidding the Prostration of Respect was to prevent the emergence of a wrong custom.
- There are many things in Islam which pre-existed Islam. For example, Hajj: the circumambulation of the Kaaba and the reverence of the Holy Black Stone. In the same way, Sajda-e-Tazeemi (The Prostration of Respect) is an act that predates Islam. There was no problem with Hajj or reverence of the Holy Black Stone, so Prophet Mohammad allowed those practices to continue as part of Islam. However, when Prophet Mohammad saw the dangers with the Prostration of Respect, he forbade it in part.
- Different movies have age restrictions such as Universal (suitable for all audiences), 12+ (people of 12 years of age or older may watch it), 15+ (15-year-olds and older may watch it) and 18+ (18-year-olds or older may watch it). The films with age restrictions are forbidden, in part; they are forbidden for the people who are too young to watch them. Similarly, the Prostration of Respect was forbidden in Sharia, but it is permissible for the people who progress from Sharia to Tariqa (spirituality). This is because after entering spirituality, whoever they prostrate before will have the presence of God in them. The practitioners of spirituality have the Lord in them, therefore, they have permission to perform the Prostration of Respect. The Lord is not to be found in the practitioners of Sharia, which is why the Prostration of Respect is not allowed for them. So if somebody prostrates before a shrine of saints like Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, Baba Farid or Abdul Qadir Jilani, they are actually prostrating before the Lord, not a shrine.
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