Love is a feeling that centres in the heart. But this feeling drives the body to think of the beloved, to walk towards the beloved and to meet him or her. That is why love is a sickness without nikah. Above all love is the love for Allah Ta`ala and His prophet Muhammad SAW. Allah Ta`ala wants us to love Him more than anyone, even our parents:
‘’O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah , even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both.’’(4:135)
The love for Allah Ta`ala means to long for His meeting, obey His commands, do every step of life to please him and turn at once in tawbah when committed a mistake against His laws. The love for the prophet SAW means that we should have a feeling of love for him purposely and follow his way of life and revive his sunnah. The prophet SAW stated that his love is synonym of faith. Reported in Bukhari that the prophet SAW said: ‘’No one would have complete faith until he does not love me more than his children, his parents and the whole humanity.’’عَنْ أَنَسٍ قَالَ
قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لَا يُؤْمِنُ أَحَدُكُمْ حَتَّى أَكُونَ أَحَبَّ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ وَالِدِهِ
وَوَلَدِهِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ
The love and muhabbat of someone is expressed during lifetime with vivid expressions and then that love is humanly expressed as visiting graveyards after the death of the beloved. The beloved prophet SAW visited the grave of His mother in Abwa because he had love for His mother. Hazrat Aisha r.a. visited her brother Abdur Rahman while the qabr was far, because she had feelings for her brother. Ibn Umar visited his brother`s grave `Asim. And last but not least, reported in Bukhari that the beloved prophet SAW expressed his love for his uncle Hamzah r.a. and those who were martyred in Uhud by visiting their qabrs and spending time by the qabr with sadness and emotions. That was some days before the beloved prophet SAW left this world. The sahabah reports that the beloved prophet SAW did not make any difference in leaving, doing farewell and saying good bye to the qabrs as done with the living ones! Then the prophet SAW addressed the sahabas on the mimbars as his last sermon(Bukhari) So, basing on this hadith, what is wrong in visiting my Nabi SAW as if he was alive?
In fact, we learn from this hadith of Bukhari that love for a dead person is expressed by visiting his grave(qabr) with emotions:
صَلَّى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَلَى قَتْلَى أُحُدٍ بَعْدَ ثَمَانِي سِنِينَ كَالْمُوَدِّعِ
لِلْأَحْيَاءِ وَالْأَمْوَاتِ ثُمَّ طَلَعَ الْمِنْبَرَ فَقَالَ إِنِّي بَيْنَ أَيْدِيكُمْ فَرَطٌ وَأَنَا عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيدٌ وَإِنَّ
مَوْعِدَكُمْ الْحَوْضُ وَإِنِّي لَأَنْظُرُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ مَقَامِي هَذَا وَإِنِّي لَسْتُ أَخْشَى عَلَيْكُمْ أَنْ
تُشْرِكُوا وَلَكِنِّي أَخْشَى عَلَيْكُمْ الدُّنْيَا أَنْ تَنَافَسُوهَا قَالَ فَكَانَتْ آخِرَ نَظْرَةٍ نَظَرْتُهَا إِلَى
رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ
Some people advocate that we should not do niyah of purposely visiting the qabr of Nabi SAW. But they say we should make niyah of visiting the masjid of Nabi SAW because of the hadith that the beloved prophet SAW said that we should not travel to any masjid for salaah but these 3 masjids: Masjid Al Haram, Makkah, Masjid An Nabawi in Madinah and Masjid Aqsa, Jerusalem(Ahmad). But this hadith is wrongly taken because the ummah has always travelling in the path of Allah and also for administrative purposes to the capital of the Islamic empire.
Baghdad and Turkey was the centre of movement of muslims during more than a thousand years. In fact, the hadith means that we should not travel looking forward for more sawaabs of salaah as these 3 masjids hold more sacredness or sanctity than any other masjids. But in no case it means that we should not travel for learning deen, doing da`wah, visiting the pious people and listening to the new protocols of the Islamic empire.
Moreover, it is reported in Ibn Asaakir that hazrat Bilaal r.a. travelled purposely to visit the qabr of Rasouloullah SAW. Imaam Muhammad r.a. brought the riwayah that Ibn Umar came Madinah and first made salaam to the prophet SAW. Imaam Ahmad mentioned that Abu Ayyoob Ansari did visit the qabr of Rasouloullah SAW objectively.
So those who say that the masjid Nabawi SAW is more valuable than the prophet SAW himself, they have definitely erred. This is pure aridness of love to the prophet SAW!
Bear in mind that the beloved prophet SAW was the means to purify Ka`bah and re-established it as the house of unicity of Allah. Bear in mind that the beloved prophet SAW is the person that is most superior in the creation dimension. No one pray the beloved prophet SAW. But there is an expression of love that ummah has to visit Nabi SAW in Madinah Munawarah. And this love has to be more than the love for our mother and father.
Now, do we have any sahih hadith of Nabi SAW saying that after Hajj or Umrah, we should visit the qabr of Nabi SAW objectively and make Him salaam? Yes, there is one and may Allah Ta`ala make us understand it properly:عن عطاء ، مولى أم حبيبة قال : سمعت أبا هريرة ، يقول : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم :
« ليهبطن عيسى ابن مريم حكما عدلا ، وإماما مقسطا وليسلكن فجا حاجا ، أو معتمرا أو بنيتهما
وليأتين قبري حتى يسلم ولأردن عليه » يقول أبو هريرة : « أي بني أخي إن رأيتموه فقولوا :
أبو هريرة يقرئك السلام » « هذا حديث صحيح الإسناد ولم يخرجاه بهذه السياقة »
Rasouloullah SAW said: ‘’Isaa Ibn Maryam(Jesus) will come down to earth as a just ruler and as a good leader. And he will come from far large roads for Hajj or Umrah or with niyah of both. And then he would surely come to my qabr so as to present his salaam on me. And I would definitely answer his salaam.’’(Mustadrak Hakim)
Note that this hadith mentions that hazrat Isaa alaihis salaam would perform Hajj and Umrah and then would come objectively to present his salaam to the qabr of Rasouloullah SAW. And the hadith did not mention that he would make niyah to visit Masjid Nabawi SAW. So it is important and sunnah that after Hajj or umrah(or before) to go objectively in Madinah Munawarah to present salaam to the Rasouloullah SAW, because the prophet SAW is alive in his qabr.
From this hadith, we know also that the beloved prophet SAW is being informed in the qabr about who is visiting him at that particular time. In fact be more attentive to the prophet SAW when passing in front of the prophet`s Rowdha Mubarak, because the beloved is listening to you and is watching you. Refer to the hadith in Bukhari when the beloved prophet made the farewell and good bye to the living sahabahs saying: ‘’I am informed of your doings!’’ Ulamas agreed that the beloved prophet SAW is informed of the a`maals, feels pain and happiness on the conditions of the ummah(Share Mishkaat lil Qari).وأنا عليكم شهيد أي مطلع على أحوالكم إذ تعرض علي أعمالكم أو أنا شاهد لكم ومثن عليكم
So leave your mobile, turn your face with respect to the large gold ring and say with a soft voice: Assalamou alaika Ya Rasouloullah SAW. To find the exact place where is the qabr of Rasouloullah SAW, find the photo on http://islam-qna.org/Articles.asp?QID=29&LN=. Note: It is mustahab to take a bath when reaching Madinah Munawarah, wear the best cloth and perfume oneself. Men can proceed immediately to the masjid and enter by Baab us Salaam. First read 2 rakaats tahiyyatul masjid in Masjid An Nabawi SAW. Then proceed to make salaam to the beloved prophet SAW and his two companions, Abu Bakr and Umar r.a. Women may go after Fajr, after Zohr and after Esha to make salaam.