Blind Followership of Forefather’s Traditions in our Society:
*BOWING TO HONOUR OTHER THAN ALLAH
We met our forefathers measuring respect and humility with the practice of inhinaa’ (bending, bowing, kneeling or prostrating to greet parents and elders). This lack basis in the shari’ah. We need to stop deceiving oursleves. Both foreign and local scholars are unanimous that it is not permissible for someone to bow for other than Allah. If this is strange to you, then note that Sheikh Adam Abdullahi Al-iloriy رحمه الله said this practice is one of the long term jahiliyyah practices in our society. Read his famous book ‘Islam and Blindfollowing of Period of Ignorance’ in our Society. Then, you will know how mischievous those who go about spreading lies about this issue on radio, television and open gatherings are.
Although the Sheikh at a page in the book mentioned something relating to intention of not worshipping the person being greeted in this manner. But it should be noted and understood clearly that, no amount of good intention can justify an act that has been declared impermissible by a verse of the Qur’an, hadith or both. Can someone commit zina with good intention or drink alcohol with good intention? No! In the same manner, no one can greet another person bowing, with good intention. In fact, the relevant hadith is very clear on this. Are we going to say Mu’adh Bin Jabal رضي الله عنه did not have good intention when he greeted the Rosul صلى الله عليه وسلم bowing. Yet he صلى الله عليه وسلم said: no, it is not permissible. He صلى الله عليه وسلم even added that if he is to allow someone to bow for another person, he would have allowed a wife to be bowing for his husband. But it is not permissible in the Sunnah of Muhammad, the son of ‘Abdillah. The hadith of Anas Ibn Maalik on this matter is also relevant.
More so, Sheikh Adam’s poem condemning bowing is a clear indication that he was against it. The Sheikh, may Allah forgive his shortcomings wrote the poem under the heading “At-tawaadu’u Al-jahiliyyah Fi Naijiriya wamaa Haolaha” (Humility of the Period of Ignorance in Nigeria and it Environs). The poem was written as far back as 1979 (1399 AH). The poem goes thus;
ويح قومى جهلوا معنى الحيا ** وأساءوا فيه ختما وابتداء
هكذا قد جهلوا التواضعا ** وبنوه في سجود وانحناء
خلع نعل جعلوه واجبا ** لهمو قبل وصول للفناء
كل من خالفهم في هذه ** وصفوه بالذى منه براء
جاعلوهم كافرا لدينهم ** واستعدوا لقتال واعتدا
والتواضع الذى نعرفه ** مثل ما في العقل أو شرع السماء
بقبول الحق من كل أحد ** واجتناب جر ثوب الخيلاء
واحترام الغير في حاد النهى ** واحتقار النفس لا كالحمقاء
والحياء الحق إن تسألنى ** ما يقيك العار عند العقلاء
وبقى من كل فحش وخنا ** غير هذا لا يسمى بالحياء
1. It is unfortunate that my people are ignorant of the meaning of modesty. They lack its understanding from the beginning to the end.
2. That is the same way they misunderstand humility. They premised it on prostration and bending (while greeting them)
3. They make removing of shoes (before greeting them) compulsory before they attain the high status in faith
4. Whoever disputes these with them would be qualified with negative things (that are not his).
5. They would call them disbelievers upon their deen. And they would threaten to kill and harm them
6. And the humility that I know is that which is sensible and that which is in line with the revealed law (Kitab wa Sunnah)
7. With taking the truth from anyone (no matter his status in the society) and abstinence from wearing clothes (beyond the ankles) with arrogance
8. And giving due regard to other people within reasonable limit. And giving respect to people without foolishness
9. And modesty in its true sense if you ask me, is what would not degrade you in sight of the wise ones
10. And shunning all acts of indecency and corruption. Apart from these, nothing is modesty [See Al-Islam Wa taqoolid Al-jahiliyyah, Pg 161]
Translated by Ibn ‘Abdillah As-sudaisiy Al-Iloori (1st November, 2016)