Al-Barakah can be understood as an increase in something or a growth in something. Often people use this word in regards to things in which they think Allah has increased or grew it.
For example a person may say “there is barakah in his money”. This means his the persons money has increased. So he belies Allah blessed his money and that blessing is the reason for the increase in his money.
Tabarruk means to seek blessings (barakah) in something. It is derived from the word ‘barakah’ which is often translated as blessing.
Hence someone who performs tabarruk is seeking an increase/growth in something. The things for which growth and increase is desired are numerous: possessions, wealth, strength, offspring, success, etc.
Therefore tabarruk with a grave is when a person goes to a grave and does an act of worship (prayer, duaa etc) at this grave. The person does this hoping Allah will give him even more rewards than he usual would for this act of worship. The reason the person hopes for more reward for this act of worship is because, it was done at (around/near) this grave, which the person believes Allah has blessed due to the status of the person in the grave.
Narration Of Imam Shafi Doing Tabarruk With The Grave Of Imam Hanifah
Khateeb Al-Baghdadi narrated that Imam Shafi said: “I do Tabarruk with Abu Hanifah and I go to his grave every day (meaning for a visit) and when I have a need I pray two Rakah and I go to his grave and ask my need to Allah and I do not leave it until it is fulfilled” (Tarikh Baghdad v 1 p 123)
The narration is also recorded by Ibn Hajar al-Haytami in his book on Imam Abu Hanifa entitled al-Khayrat al-Hisan (Ch. 35, p. 71 & 72) he gives no isnad (chain of narration).
The chain of narration (in Khateed Al-Baghdadis narration) to Imam Shafi contains a majhul (unknown) narrator. Umar ibn Ishaq ibn Ibrahim is not known and there is no mention of him in books of narrators. So the hadeeth is weak.
In Ibn Hajr Al-Asqalanis famous book Nukhbat Al-Fikar he puts hadeeths which include unknown narrators in the chain under the title of ‘The rejected and its Divisions’, after this he puts the unknown narrator under the subtitle of ‘Aspersion…..being unknown (jahala)’. (the 3rd (2000) edition of Nukhbas text established by Nur al-Din Itr p.178 -180
Ibn Hajr Al-Asqalani explains the unknown narrator (mubham) is not accepted. (Nukhbat Al-Fikar the 3rd (2000) edition of Nukhbas text established by Nur al-Din Itr p.182
Logical Refutation Of This Narration
No one can claim Allah has blessed any ones grave or the surrounding areas of his grave unless there is proof. There is no hadeeth saying there is blessing around the grave of Abu Hanifah or that his grave itself contains blessing (barakah) so why would a great Imam like Imam Shafi the person who wrote the first ever book on the science of hadeeth (Ar-Risalah) seek blessing at such a place?
Why would Imam Shafi think that Allah would put blessing on the grave or around the grave of Imam Hanifah. When he knew that if Allah put blessing on or around any ones grave this would imply that this person will go paradise. He knew that even if he and all the scholars and lay people thought Imam Hanifah was a great Imam it does not mean he will go paradise or that he really was a great Imam. This is because only Allah knows who really is a great Imam and who will go paradise.
If Imam Shafi wanted to do tabarruk with a grave why did he not do this with the graves of the Sahabah. As there would be more blessing around their graves because they were high in rank with Allah, better Muslims and much more pious than Imam Hanifah.
Why did Imam Shafi not mention the fact he made tabarruk with the graves in general and specifically his seeking tabarruk with Imam Hanifahs grave? He did not mention it because he never did it.
If this practice was halal why did he failed to mention this was done by any of the other scholars of his time? Imam Shafi never mentioned any of the scholars of his time doing tabarruk with graves as this practice is prohibited so they never did it.
If he did this action and believed that it was beneficial why was it never record in his books, or his students books that he recommended even one person to do tabarrak with the graves. Imam Shafi never recommend no to do tabarruk with the graves as he knew it was haraam, that’s why he never did it.
Why did he never narrate one authentic hadeeth about the practice of seeking blessing with the graves, because if a person thinks he acted with out proof then what he did was an innovated (bidah) act of worship and was haraam. If that was the case then his action can not be used as proof to show the permissibility of such actions.
What Did Imam Shafi Say About The
Shafi said in his “Al-Umm” v 1 p 278: “I consider it Makruh that the creation (a person) should be venerated until his grave is transformed into a place of worship (mosque) fearing the Fitnah for him and for those after him”
An-Nawawi in his Sharh Muslim quoted the words of Ash-Shafi’i v 7 p 24, Janaiz Bab 32 and “Majmu’” v 5 p 298: “I have seen among the rulers some who destroyed what was built upon graves and I have not seen the Fuqaha blaming this”
These are not the words of a scholar who makes tabarruk with the graves and specifically the grave of Imam Hanifah.
What Have Other Scholars Said About Going To The Grave Of The Prophet
Imam Malik was asked about a stranger who comes to the grave of the Prophet each day. He said, ‘That is not right,’ and quoted the hadeeth, ‘O Allah, do not make my grave an idol that is worshipped.’”(al-Jami’ li’l-Bayan by Ibn Rushd, Classed as sahih by al-Albani in Tahdhir al-Sajid min Ittikhadh al-Qubur Masajid, p. 24-26.)
Ibn Rushd said: “So he regarded it as makruh (disliked by Allah) to pass by it a great deal to send salam on him (the prophet Mohammed), and to come there every day, lest the grave become like a mosque to which people come every day to pray. The Messenger of Allah forbade that when he said, ‘O Allah, do not make my grave an idol (a thing that is worshiped or blessing are sought from).’” (al-Bayan wa’l-Tahsil by Ibn Rushd, 18/444-445.)
Al-Qadi Iyad was asked about people of Madinah who stand by the grave (of the prophet Mohammed) one or more times a day, and they send salams and make duaa for a while. He said, “I have not heard of this from any of the fuqaha (generally scholars and specifically scholars of fiqh), and nothing is good for the latter generations of this ummah accept that which was good for its first generations. I have not heard that any of the first generations of the ummah used to do that.”(Al-Shifa bi Ta’rif Huquq al-Mustafa, 2/676.)
The scholars disliked people constantly visiting the prophet Mohammed’s grave or making duaa near it, so according to these scholars what Imam Shafi use to do (visiting the grave) is wrong.
Hadeeths Showing The Impermissibility Of Doing Tabarruk At The Graves
Even if the narration is authentic (it is not but if some claims it is) then this hadeeths show that what Imam Shafi did was incorrect.
Jundub ibn ‘Abdullah al-Bajali heard the Prophet said, five days before he died: “The people before you took graves as mosques (places of worship, they did acts of worship around the grave). I prohibit this to you.” Recorded by Muslim
Also the Prophet said: “Allah cursed the Jews and Christians [because] they took the graves of their prophets as mosques (places of worship, they did acts of worship around the grave).” Recorded by Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, and an-Nasaai.
Plus Aisha reports that Umm Salamah mentioned the churches she saw in Abyssinia and the pictures they contained to the Messenger of Allah. The Prophet said to her: “These are the people who, when a pious servant or pious man among them dies, build a mosque (a place of worship, they did acts of worship around the grave) upon their graves and put those pictures in it. They are the worst of the whole creation in the sight of Allah.“ Recorded by Bukhari, Muslim and Nasaa’ee.
Aisha reported: The Messenger of Allah said during his illness from which he never recovered: Allah cursed the Jews and the Christians that they took the graves of their prophets as mosques. She (Aisha) reported: Had it not been so, his (Prophet’s) grave would have been in an open place, but it could not be due to the fear that it may not be taken as a mosque (a place of worship, they did acts of worship around the grave). Saheeh Muslim
The Prophet said: “O Allah! Let not my grave be turned into a worshipped idol (this would happen if Muslims did acts of worship around or towards the prophets grave).” Narrated in Malik and Ahmed it is Saheeh