Unlike Shias or Sunnis, extremist Salafis prohibit intercession for blessing and consider those who believe in such actions heretics. This is while the oral traditions of Sunnis explicitly stress the importance of such act: Respecting the Prophet after his death is like respecting him during life.”
Therefore we refer to certain historical documents and the conduct of Prophet Muhammad’s companions and great Sunni clerics in response to unfounded doubts cast by extremist Salafis.
Asking for intercession of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad by respecting his shrine is one of the examples of honoring sacred traditions and Qur’an itself enforces this conduct as it says: “And whoever honors the symbols of Allah – indeed, it is from the piety of hearts.” For instance,
- Upon returning to Medina after conquering Damascus, Umar bin al Khitab (RA) went to the mosque and paid his respects to Prophet Muhammad.
- Ibn Askar says on his journey from Bait ul Muqaddas (Jerusalem), Umar bin al Khitab reached Jabieh. Bilal asked Umar (RA) to let him stay in Damascus and Umar agreed. Bilal dreamed of Prophet Muhammad who told him: Bilal, why this unkindness? Is it not time to visit me? Bilal woke up, saddened and scared. He mounted his horse and rode to the Prophet’s tomb in Medina, wept and rubbed his face on his grave. When Hassan and Hussein arrived, he embraced and kissed them.
- Recounting the funeral of Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Kathir, the main theoretician of Wahhabism, writes: “Mourners threw their handkerchiefs and turbans on Ibn Taymiyyah body and drank water from his ablution to receive blessing.