Taboot-e Sakeenah

Question

Some people often hold that Taboot-e-Sakina, mentioned in the Qur'an (Q 2: 248), contained belongings of the Prophets. It was a symbol of blessings of God and Barakah. The Israelites used to get judgments from it during disputes. It is held that this example proves the fact that we can use particular things or persons as waseela (intermediary/intercessor) to approach God. They argue if things like amama (turban) and the Ark belonging to the Prophets can bring blessing of God then why not the graves of these personalities where their bodies are lying bring blessings? Please explain the true status of Taboot-e-sakina in the light of the Qur'an. What should be our belief towards it?


Answer

We believe that the taboot-e sakeenah was given this position by God through the agency of the Prophets. We know that the Prophets continued to come among the Israelites. The position taboot gained was confirmed by the Prophets (sws). The Qur'an itself confirms its position (Q 2:248).

This status cannot be extended to everything belonging to the Prophets unless explicitly commanded by God in the basic sources of religious knowledge in Islam. We cannot develop religious beliefs based on logical reasoning. What God held and declared as sacred is sacred. We cannot for example say the said taboot was made of wood so all wood or wood from a given tree is sacred.

Similarly we cannot say that since the taboot had relics of the Prophets and was revered on this basis alone, the bones of the Prophets are more worthy of being considered as sacred and source of blessing. If that were the case the Almighty would have taught in the subsequent revelations that the remains of the Prophets should be worshipped or taken as waseela. On the contrary the Prophets of God strongly condemned any such act that can lead the followers to worshipping the Prophets and their graves.

The taboot was in fact a symbol of God's favours for the Israelites. It was used as their qiblah. The remains of the Prophet and their graves never were. Should we turn towards the grave of the Prophet Muhammad (sws) in the Prayer based on the fact that Kabah was declared a qiblah by him? Everything in the religion is established and practiced as directed by the Prophet of God. Adding to the religious beliefs based on reasoning is not acceptable in the religion of God.

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