Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari on ibn Taymiyya’s Prohibiting of Travelling to Visit the Prophet’s Grave (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)

Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari al-Harawi al-Hanafi (D. 1014AH) on ibn Taymiyya’s prohibition of travelling to visit the Prophet’s grave (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam):

“Amongst the Hanbalis, ibn Taymiyya has gone to an extreme by prohibiting travelling to visit the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), just as others have gone to the opposite extreme in saying: the fact that the visiting is a pious deed is known with certainty and he who denies this is an unbeliever. Perhaps the second position is closer to the truth, for to prohibit something that scholars by consensus deem commendable is unbelief, since it is worse than prohibiting what is (merely) permissible, in regards to which there is agreement (i.e. there is agreement that the prohibition of what is permissible by consensus is unbelief).”

[Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari al-Harawi, Sharh al-Shifa (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, 2001), 2:152]

From the above-mentioned words of Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari al-Harawi al-Hanafi, it seems he has retracted his statements in praise of ibn Taymiyya, as Jarh Mufassar (Specified Criticism) takes precedence over General Tawthiq/Ta’dil (Praise).

Anyone who wishes to object to the above should know that in his sharh (commentary) on the Shifa of al-Qadhi ‘Iyadh he mentioned his al-Mirqat Sharh al-Mishkat (al-Masabih) in 2 places – 1/24 and 1/547. Also, in the same Sharh al-Shifa, he referred to his sharh (commentary) on Shama-il al-Tirmidhi known as Jam’ al-Wasa-il (1/324, 343 and 2/366). This means that his Sharh al-Shifa is later than his sharh (commentary) on Mishkat al-Masabih and his sharh (commentary) on Shama-il al-Tirmidhi, and thus what he mentioned in it, is his last stance on ibn Taymiyya, as it overrides what he thought about him in the earlier two works named, in which he had praiseworthy remarks for ibn Taymiyya.

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