Fakhr ud-Din ar-Razi (d. 606H) : The Grave Worshippers Who Seek Intercession Are Equivalent to the Idol Worshippers Who Seek Intercession
Posted by Abu.Iyaad on Thursday, April, 22 2010 and filed under Articles
Key topics: Fakhr Ud-Din Ar-Razi Intercession Shafaa'ah Idol Worship Grave Worship Saint Worship

Background and Introduction

To the right is a cover page for the book "Tafsir ar-Razi" belonging to Fakhr ud-Din ar-Razi who is a prominent Imaam for the Ash'aris of today and he died in 606H. We will be quoting from it further below to prove that "Tawhid al-Ibadah" is not an invention of Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah), nor Ibn Abdul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah). Ar-Razi was present in a time when worship of other than Allaah within the Muslim Ummah had started to appear and spread and thus, even amongst the As'hari scholars prior to this era, there exist clear indications in their books and writings that they (unlike the later Ash'aris) understood Tawhid al-Ibaadah, and explained it, and spoke against its violation, even if they erred in other aspects of creed.

Historically, the innovations of the first century were light innovations (Khawarij, Shi'ah, Qadariyyah, Murji'ah), in that they did not directly relate to Allaah Himself. Those that came in the second century hijrah were more severe in that they related directly to the belief in Allaah Himself (His Names, Attributes, His uluww, His Speech), and then from this period the introduction of philosophy and gnosticism (mystical knowledge) led to further deviations. However, it took around six centuries for Shirk (associationism) to start to spread amongst the Muslims. And thus prior to this time, amongst the various sects, whilst they had deviations in issues of aqidah, the understanding of Tawhid al-Ibaadah was still relatively firm.

This shows that the greater deviations occurred when the people were further away from the era of revelation, and this is simply a cycle of history. This has always occurred after the sending of Prophets and Messengers, and it is indicated in the Prophetic texts for this ummah, such as those texts that mention that this (Muslim) nation will follow the footsteps of those (nations) that came before them (such as the Jews and Christians). For this reason, the greatest deviation, Shirk with Allaah, was the last of the affairs to enter into the Ummah - long after the era of Prophethood.

Coming to the subject of this series of articles now, we present in this some quotations from the Tafseer of ar-Razi pertaining to the core arguments for the justification of supplicating to those besides Allaah and seeking their intercession, and through this we illustrate that this type of refutation against the grave and saint worshippers precedes Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) by a century and Ibn Abdul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) by six centuries, and it also uncovers the academic and intellectual fraud of today's grave and saint-worshippers against the Scholars of Tawheed.

Fakhr ud-Din ar-Razi on Today's Saint and Grave Worshippers

Many of the Later Ash'aris (from the seventh century onwards) do not consider invocation (du'a) to be worship, or they do not consider the calling upon others to be Shirk, unless it is accompanied with the belief that those being called upon had power over harm and benefit, and in this they oppose the earlier Ash'aris, and oppose the clear texts of the Book and the Sunnah, and oppose the Tawhid that the Messengers invited to. It is for this reason, that Shirk appeared amongst them, which they tried to justify using the label of "tawassul", and this "tawassul" is not the legitimate tawassul of the Book and the Sunnah, rather it is attachment to the righteous dead, and veneration of them, for soliciting their intercession.

In the (first part) of this series (see here), it was established that ar-Razi showed rejection against those who venerate the graves, seeking to win the intercession of the righteous dead, and he stated that this is rebutted by the Qur'an. Here is his statement quoted previously, and it is in reference to the saying of Allaah, "And they worship besides Allah things that hurt them not, nor profit them, and they say: "These are our intercessors with Allah"." which is in Surah Yunus (10:18), he wrote:

ونظيره في هذا الزمان اشتغال كثير من الخلق بتعظيم قبور الأكابر على اعتقاد أنهم إذا عظموا قبورهم فانهم يكونون شفعاء لهم عند الله

And the equivalent of this [i.e. of idol-worship] in our time is the occupation of many of the creation with the veneration of the graves of the senior [righteous] ones, upon the belief that when they venerate their graves, then they (the deceased) will become intercessors for them with Allaah.

To fully grasp the implication of the above statement, please carefully study the following series of articles:

The essence of what is in these articles (all quotes from ar-Razi's tafsir) is the nature of idol-worship is the seeking intercession from the heavenly-spirits, angels, prophets, jinn, the righteous dead by offering worship to "focal-points" which are often statues or representations and which include the graves and tombs of the righteous dead, however it is not these "focal-points" that are the object of worship, the worship is really for the heavenly-spirits, angels, prophets, jinn and the righteous dead. These are venerated and worshipped with a view to winning their intercession. And ar-Razi considers all of this to be Shirk (associationism) and idol-worship. We can summarize the articles with the following:

We have established previously that al-Razi, the Ash'ari scholar of the 6th and early 7th centuries, affirmed: a) That Shafaa'ah (intercession) belongs to none but Allaah alone, and intercession can never take place except with Allah's permission - (see this article), b) That du'a (supplication) is the loftiest of the stations of al-ubudiyyah (servitude, worship), is the most excellent of the types of worship, and the reality of du'a is such that incorporates other forms of worship such as humility (dhull), servitude (uboodiyyah), incapacity (inkisaar), poverty, need (maskanah) - (see this article), c) That none of the pagans ever intended to worship the statues or idols, rather the acts of worship they performed were directed to those in the graves, and their reason was that they were intending to solicit their intercession - (see this article and this article), d) That many were found in the time of al-Razi who flocked to the graves and venerated them with the desire of soliciting the intercession of the righteous dead - (see here), e) That no nation in history ever believed in Ruboobiyyah for other than Allaah (with an exception for the Dualists) and that none of those who worship other than Allaah believe that what they worship has any independent power or control. And that what actually led people to worship things were certain philosophical and other reasons and from them were the soliciting of the intercession the pious, righteous dead. And further, that whatever they took as focal points of worship (pictures, idols, statues, graves, tombs) were never intended for worship at all, rather they were simply focal points to allow the direction of worship to the righteous dead - (see here), f) That whoever solicited and requested intercession from other than Allaah, has relinquished the intercession for Himself and invalidated it for himself - (see here).

What Are The Implications Of the Above?

The above information has extremely serious implications for todays Ash'arites many of whom are steeped in what ar-Razi (d. 606H) equated with idol-worship more than 800 years ago, before Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H) and well before Ibn Abdul-Wahhaab (d. 1175H). It shows the spuriousness of their allegations against these two scholars. In fact, take all of the sayings of ar-Razi in the five articles linked above, put it all together, and essentially what you have, is a condensed and summarized version of the first half of Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahhaab's "Kashf ush-Shubuhaat" ("Removal of the Doubts" - a rebuttal of the grave-worshippers)!