The famous Soofee leader – as-Sayyid Ahmad ar-Rifaa’ee

Reference: Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah li Samaahat ash-Shaykh al-‘Allaamah ‘Abdul-‘Azeez Ibn ‘Abdullaah Ibn Baaz – Volume 9, Page 31

Question: What is the correct opinion about the stories narrated from one of the famous Soofee leaders, as-Sayyid Ahmad ar-Rifaa’ee, which say that he visited al-Masjid an-Nabawee ﷺ in Madeenah and made du’aa at his grave, and the Messenger ﷺ reached his hand out to him and he kissed it?

This is a widespread belief among the followers of his tareeqah (sect) and it is a belief they hold firmly, even though he lived in the 6th century AH. How true is this story?

Response: This is false[hood] and has no basis of truth, because the Prophet ﷺ died as decreed by Allaah and as Allaah said:

{Verily you (O Muhammad ﷺ) will die and verily, they (too) will die}, [Soorah az-Zumar, Aayah 30]

According to a Saheeh hadeeth, the Prophet ﷺ said:

«Allaah has angels who travel about in the earth and convey to me the salaams (prayers and salutations) of my Ummah»

And he ﷺ said:

«There is no one who sends salaams (prayers and salutations) upon me but Allaah will restore my soul to me so that I may return his salaam»

And he ﷺ said:

«The best of your days is Friday, so send more blessings (salaah) upon me on that day, for your blessings will be shown to me.” They said, “O Messenger of Allaah, how will they be shown to you when you (your body) have disintegrated?” He said, “Allaah has forbidden the earth to consume the bodies of the Prophets»

And there are many ahaadeeth which say similar things, but it is not narrated anywhere that the Prophet ﷺ said that he would shake hands with anybody. This indicates that this story is false. Even if we were to assume that it is true, then it could be that that was a Shaytaan (devil) who shook hands with him in order to deceive him and lead him and others astray. What all Muslims have to do is to fear Allaah and to adhere to His Sharee’ah, which is contained in His Book and in the Sunnah of His trustworthy Messenger, and to beware of anything that goes against that.

May Allaah reform the Muslims and grant them understanding of His religion and cause them to adhere to His Sharee’ah, for He is the Most Generous.

He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004. He currently resides in Birmingham, UK.

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