Kissing the Kiswa of Ka’aba and the Na’alain Shareef of the Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم

November 30, 2008

For those visiting Sayyidina Rasulullah  صلي الله عليه و سلم please convey my Salam and remember me in your Dua’s.


this is a translation of alaHazrat’s book which can be read here. it is about kissing the cloth that covers the ka’aba and kissing the na’layn mubarak of rasulAllah sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam.


Question: 13th Dhu’l Hijjah, 1308 AH

What do the scholars say about the issue that in the city of Morees, there is a piece of cloth from the Ka’aba that measures two feet by one and a quarter feet. It is hung on the wall that is in front of people when they face the Qibla. When they finish their five daily prayers, they kiss this piece and after the Jum’a prayer, there is a massive rush of people who gather to kiss the cloth. Some will kiss it four times, some more and some less. Due to the rush, some even miss out. They believe it to be a sacred cloth and try their utmost to get to it. Those who are learned kiss it out of reverence and I do not know with what belief the lay public kiss it. Following in one another’s footsteps, they exaggerate hugely in this regard. Is this action worthy of reward or is it worthy of punishment due to other reasons? Bayyinu Tujiru.

Answer: Bismillahi’r Rahmani’r Raheem. Nahmaduhu wa nusallai ‘ala rasulihi’l kareem.

The kiss of respect is considered to be part of respect in the Shari’ah and everyday practice. Kissing the Ka’aba, the Qur’an and the hands of feet of the pious are from the kisses of respect.

Relied upon books such as Durr al-Mukhtar mention this clearly [al-Durr al-Mukhtar, 2:245].

Even in the Hadith themselves, the actions of the companions of kissing the hands and feet of RasulAllah sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam are mentioned.

Just as I have explained extensively in my book al-Bariqat al-Shariqa ‘ala’l Mariqat al-Mushariqa.

Related to the issue is the hadith of ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar radiyAllahu ta’ala ‘anhuma that he wiped his face at the place where RasulAllah sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam sat [al-Tabqat al-Kubra ibn Sa’d, 1:254]. It is related about the companions that they would touch the circular parapet that is next to the blessed shrine with their right hand and then make supplications. Imam Qadi ‘Iyad writes in Shifa’ that:

Nafi’ said that when ibn ‘Umar radiyAllahu ta’ala ‘anhuma would say salam; he would say salam on RasulAllah sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam and Abu Bakr radiyAllahu ta’ala ‘anhu more than 100 times, then he would go to the blessed pulpit and touch the place with is hands where RasulAllah sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam sat and rub them over his face. Ibn Qaseet and ‘Utba narrate that when the companions ridwanAllahi ta’ala ‘alaihim would exit the Masjid al-Nabawi, they would touch the edges of the grave of the prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam with their hands and then make du’a facing the Qibla.

The Shari’ah and common practice tell us that anything that deserves respect in the Shari’ah warrants respect at all times. Respecting it is seen as respecting the thing due to which it gained respect in the first place and the same goes for disrespecting it. For example, throwing the crown of the king to the ground is disrespectful at all times; not only when he is wearing it. Every sane person knows this. It is in Shifa’ that:

It is from the respect due to RasulAllah sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam that one gives reverence to all things connected with him, all places he stayed in Makka and Madina, the things he touched and all things that are known due to him [al-Shifa’ bi Ta’rif Huquq al-Mustafa, 2:70].

And indeed respecting connected objects is in fact respect for the reason why these things are themselves honoured and indeed the Ka’aba is from the signs of Allah, hence, respect for the cloth of the Ka’aba is respect for the Ka’aba and respect for the Ka’aba is respect for the signs of Allah, which is required in the Shari’ah:

And whoever respects the signs of Allah, this surely it is from the piety of hearts. [22:32]

There is no specificity as to which things one can kiss and come into contact with either. Whichever thing has any connection with anything that the Shari’ah commands respect for, it is necessary to respect and love it. Hence, to kiss and touch the walls of Madina has been the practice of the people of love and has been noted in the works of the scholars, even though these buildings were not even in existence in the time of the prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam let alone being touched by him sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam. Someone has said:

I was in the land of Layla and I kissed its walls. In my heart resides the inhabitant of this land but I love the other dwellers too [Shifa al-Siqam, p.73, Jawahir al-Bihar, 3:177, Naseem al-Riyad, 3:434].

It is in Shifa’ that:

It is advisable to respect the places whose dust has touched the blessed body of the prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam. So too is must we honour that atmosphere that surrounds those streets and plains and to kiss the walls [al-Shifa’ bi Tarif Huquq al-Mustafa, 2:45-46].

He then says:

The abode of the best of Messengers, the guide to the worlds and the performer of miracles. I feel aching, love and yearning for him. When I see those walls and plains, I will kiss them so much that my white beard will be filled with dust [al-Shifa’ bi Tarif Huquq al-Mustafa, 2:46].

Even more evident than this is that relied upon scholars of all ranks, from the East and West, Arabs and non-Arabs have drawn images of the blessed shrine and sandals [na’al] of the prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam and have kissed them and placed them upon their eyes and heads and have ordered others to do so. ‘Allama Abu’l Yuman ibn ‘Asakir, Shaykh Abu Ishaq Ibrahim bin Muhammad bin Khalf Salami and others have written books purely on this issue and Fath al-Muta’al fi Madh Khayr al-Na’al of Allama Ahmad Maqtari is comprehensive in this regard. May Allah grant them a good recompense and peace by virtue of the blessed sandals, Aameen.

(1) The Muhaddith, ‘Allama Faqih Abu’r Rabee’ Sulaiman bin Salim Kala’i rahimahullah says:

Oh the one who looks at the blessed sandals of the prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam – Kiss this image without any pride [Jawahir al-Bihar, 3:163].

(2) Qadi Shams al-Din Saif Allah Rashidi writes:

The one who touches the image of the blessed sandals of Taha sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam will get unmeasured goodness on the day of judgement and indeed he will live in utmost pleasure. Hence, to get this wish on that day, kiss this honoured relic at once.

(3) Shaykh Fath Allah Bayluni Halani, contemporary of ‘Allama Maqri, writes:

Oh blessed sandals of the leader of the prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam. I have witnessed that your image contains those secrets that have extraordinary blessings. One should rub his face on this image with humility and fulfil the rights of this sacred image that are necessary upon him.

He also says:

Put your hands forward to kiss the image of those blessed sandals that have touched the prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam. Accept the reverence due to them with your tongue and with a pure belief of the heart, place it upon your eyes and kiss it. Openly send salawat upon the prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam and do this action time and again.

(4) Sayyid Muhammad Musa Husaini Maliki, contemporary of ‘Allama Fath Allah Bayluni, writes:

There is such blessing in the image of the blessed sandals of the best of creation sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam that if you place it on your face with a pure intention, you will be granted your desire.

(5) Muhammad bin Farj Sabti writes:

Oh my face, kiss it as this is the image of the sanctified sandals. Seek remedy by kissing it so that your illness is removed.

(6) ‘Allama Ahmad bin Maqtari Talmasani, author of Fath al-Muta’al writes:

How dignified the image of the blessed sandals is which is more elevated than the whole world. Glad tidings to him who kisses it and expresses his intense love [Fath al-Muta’al].
(7) ‘Allama Abu’l Yuman ibn ‘Asakir writes:

Kiss the image of the blessed sandals because even if you get to kiss this, then what an honour this is.

(8) ‘Allama Abu’l Hakam Malik bin Abdu’r Rahman bin ‘Ali Maghribi, who has been called Ahad al-Fudala al-Maghariba [one of the accomplished people of Maghrib] writes in his Madhiya:

I befriend the blessed sandals of my beloved sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam and day and night I kiss it [Sharh al-Zarqani, 5:57].

(9) Imam Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn Imam Abu Muhammad ‘Abdullah bin Husain Ansari Qurtubi writes:

I concentrated on the waves of light that emanated from the blessed sandals and as long as we bow down them, we will be honoured. Hence, keep it above the head as it is in reality a crown and apparently a sandal [al-Mawahib al-Ladunniya, 2:470].

The abovementioned translation has been praised in Sharh Mawahib and the scholar has been remembered as a Faqih, Muhaddith, expert, eloquent, pious and unmatched.

(10) Imam ‘Allama Ahmad bin Muhammad Khateeb Qastalani, author of Irshad al-Sari Sharh Sahih Bukhari, has included the above couplets in his book Mawahib al-Ladunniya and has praised the Madhiya of ‘Allama Abu’l Hakam Maghribi by saying maa ahsanaha [al-Mawahib al-Ladunniya, 2:468] and the poem of ‘Allama ibn Asakir as lillahi darrah [al-Mawahib al-Ladunniya, 2:467].

(11) ‘Allama Zarqani commentates on this by writing:

If possible, kiss the dust that has been touched by the sandals, otherwise, kiss an image of the sandals [Sharh al-Zarqani ‘ala’l Mawahib, 5:48].

(12) ‘Allama Taj al-Din Fakihani writes in the chapter of the image of the sandals in Fajr Muneer that:

One benefit of making the image is that whoever cannot see the actual shrine can look at the image and kiss it with a yearning because this image is the same as the actual. The image of the sandals is full of benefit which makes it the same as the actual – this has been tried and tested. Hence, the scholars have ordained the same respect for the image as they do for the actual [al-Fajr al-Muneer].

(13) Sayyidi ‘Allama Muhammad bin Sulaiman Jazuli, author of Dala’il al-Khayrat, has also followed ‘Allama Fakihani and has included the image of the blessed shrine in his Dala’il al-Khayrat and writes in its commentary Kabeer that:

I have followed Shaykh Taj al-Din Fakihani by including it. He included a chapter in al-Fajr al-Muneer about sacred shrines and mentioned this in its benefits [Sharh Dala’il al-Khayrat Juzuli].

(14) Similarly, ‘Allama Muhammad bin Ahmad bin ‘Ali Fasi writes in Mutala al-Musarrat Sharh Dala’il al-Khayrat that:

He said that the author rahimahullahi ta’ala included the chapter regarding the blessed shrine and sacred graves after the chapter of names following in the footsteps of Shaykh Taj al-Din Fakihani because in his book al-Fajr al-Muneer he included a chapter on the sacred shrines. In this chapter, he mentions one benefit that whoever cannot see the actual shrine should see the image of the sandals and kiss it and show deep love for it. The scholars have written that the respect for the image is the same as for the actual and he has written that scholars have experienced the blessings of this [Mutali’at al-Musarrat, p.144].

Look at the sayings of the scholars regarding the image of the sandals. These are images, not the actual. Then what about the actual cloth from the Ka’aba which has come into contact with the Ka’aba. There is no doubt in the actions that people perform with it to seek blessings and to show respect.

It is included in the general rulings and there is nothing preventing specific actions. This is enough to make it permissible. Praise is to Allah who is the most high.

As for the rush of people around it, then this is nothing new either. This has been the practice of the people of love with regards to sacred relics in times past. It is in Sahih Bukhari and other books of hadith that when ‘Urwa bin Mas’ud Thaqafi radiyAllahu ta’ala ‘anhu went to Hudaibiya to see the prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam, he saw the companions:

When the prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam was performing ablution, they would run for the ablution water of RasulAllah sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam and it is near they would kill one another for it and when they see the blessed saliva of RasulAllah sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam, they take it in their hands and rub it on their faces and bodies [Sahih al-Bukhari, 1:379, ash-Shifa’ bi Ta’rif Huquq al-Mustafa, 2:31].

The state of the companions that they are near to killing one another is proven from the life of the prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam himself. Their state is far greater than people creating a massive rush. Similarly, rushes to kiss the black stone are age old. Hence, the actual practice is totally permissible and when the intention is to gain blessings and show respect for the sings of Allah, then it is definitely recommended and a requisite of the Shari’ah.

However, if there is a danger of causing any Islamic ruling to be disregarded, then making it a habit of causing a rush after every one of the five prayers and trying to kiss it without any restrictions after the Jum’a prayer must be avoided. Also, to stay permanently at a place causes people to lose respect for that place. Hence, staying in the sacred sanctuaries for long periods was prohibited. Amir al-Mu’mineen Faruq al-A’adham radiyAllahu ta’ala ‘anhu would make a tour around all the groups of people who came to Hajj and announce, “Oh people of Yemen, go back to Yemen. Oh people of Syria, go back to Syria. Oh people of Iraq, return to Iraq. By doing this, you will have more honour for the house of your Lord.”

The best method would be to place the cloth in a cabinet with respect and for a few days in each month, allow the people to see it. This is what Sultan Ashraf ‘Adil did in Madrasah Ashrafiya in Damascus where he built a house specifically for lessons of Hadith which he called Badar al-Hadith and he equipped it wholesomely and built a Masjid inside in the direction of the Qibla. To the eastern side the Mihrab of this Masjid, he built another building to house the blessed sandal of the prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam. He decorated the doors with items that looked like gold and placed the blessed sandals with utmost reverence in a cabinet made from ebony and beautified it with numerous veils. This door would be opened every Monday and Friday and people would gain blessings by viewing the sandals [just as ‘Allama Maqari has written in Fath al-Muta’al and in various works of other scholars].

This madrasah and Dar al-Hadith were always frequented by leading scholars. Imam Abu Zakariya Nawawi, commentator of Muslim, was a teacher there and following him, Khatam al-Mujtahidin, Abu’l Hasan Taqi al-Din ‘Ali bin ‘Abdul Kafi Subki, author of Shifa’ al-Siqam, sat in his place. Similarly, leading scholars taught there and none of them objected to the Sultan’s praiseworthy action. Moreover, it is hoped that these leading scholars themselves participated in seeing the sandals and gather blessings. The Muhaddith, ‘Allama Hafidh Burhan al-Din Halabi rahimahullah ta’ala writes in Nur al-Nibras that Shaykhuna al-Imam al-Muhaddith Amin Maliki rahmatullah ‘alaih said:

One fine aspect of Madrasah Dar al-Hadith is that I can achieve my goal and intention there. I hear the Hadith of the prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam and I get to kiss the sacred relics of the prophet sallAllahu ‘alaihi wasallam.

Hence, make this the method of seeing the cloth of the Ka’aba. Whoever gets to kiss it without any trouble can do so and whoever cannot, should be content at just seeing it. Kissing the black stone is Sunnah Mu’akkada – but when it is troublesome to oneself or others in doing so, it is avoided and kissing the cloth is of lesser importance than this.

This is the peaceful way and the middle path which is strong. Allah has the most knowledge; his knowledge is complete and supreme.


May Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala reward our dear brother; Muhammad Aqdas for the translation, Ameen.


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