Al-Shabab of Somalia Destroy the Graves of Sufi Saints

The Al-Shabab Mujahideen are probably the only group that is helping the Somali people in terms of establishing law and order in a land where anarchy exists. I haven’t read or even seen anything from any of the moderate Sufi scholars or websites regarding the destruction of these Sufi shrines.

Edit: I just want to make it clear that I do not support the destruction of the graves of Muslims.

Edit 2: Although many Somalians may appreciate the work that the Al-Shabab are doing in Somalia they still praise Al-Qaeda and are linked with them (via their videos) who are extremist Muslim and have deviated by the majority of the scholars of the ummah.

Allah knows best. May Allah (swt) forgive us all and guide us all.

44 Replies to “Al-Shabab of Somalia Destroy the Graves of Sufi Saints”

  1. BismillahirRahmanirRahim

    Since you don’t hear about it on the internet, it doesn’t exist?

    Wait a minute, we are talking about Somalian Sufis here aren’t we?

  2. @Yursil – I meant scholars like Sh. Hamza, Imam Zaid, Sh. Faraz, SunniPath teachers, Sh. Ninowy, Sh. Abdal Hakim Murad, etc.

  3. @Yursil – They destroyed the graves of some Sufi saints, I’d assume that it’ll make some traditional Sufi scholars condemn it, but I have not seen any reaction.

  4. BismillahirRahmanirRahim

    I don’t think they have a RSS feed to the things going on in the world that they condemn daily. If you asked them about it I’m sure you’d hear disapproval.

  5. @Yursil – Good point.

    @Egyptian Gumbo – I don’t think destroying graves of Muslims was done during the time of the Prophet (saas).

  6. Its not about needing the graves or not, its soo unrespectful the way these people are breaking down shrines and graves. Even demolising a Church is not what Islam teaches us. These people have understood Islam in the wrong way, and this is not what the Prophet SAW taught us to be.

  7. BismillahirahmanNirahim
    check the aqeedah of imam Tahawi, the aqeedah of the salaf
    clearly stated,
    ” We believe in what we know of the karamat or marvels of the awliya’ and in the authentic stories about them from trustworthy sources.”

    which stated that existence of Awliya (“saints”) are acknowledged by Ahla sunnah wa jamiah
    salaam Alaykum

  8. Muslims bashing the graves of respected Muslim scholars with bats?!

    A new all time low for the Ummah.


  9. Assalamu Alaykum,

    I spoke to Somali Ashari Shafii Sunni Sufi Shaykh whom is a dear friend of mine and he told me that the Ahl As-Sunnah has now organized a militia to confront Al-Shabab and to protect Sunni Sufi Muslims and the Holy Sites of Somalia. They’ve actually engaged Al-Shabab and killed 37 of them. I was told that these Sufi Mujahideen are advanced students of Sacred Knowledge in Shafii Fiqh, Ashari Creed, Hadith, Tafsir, etc, and skilled fighters! Here is a website with a couple of photos of the Sufi fighters. They go by the name of Ahl As-Sunnah:

    You just have to scroll down and you will see a couple of pictures of these Sufi Fighters. Khayr inshAllah.

  10. @Guy – “Saints” is an English word that is translated for the Arabic word of “Awliya”. There are words to use to translate “Awliya” like “Friends of Allah”. So thus “Saints” are part of Islam. Raised graves maybe forbidden but what about Muslims dismantling the graves of other Muslims? They could have deconstructed it. Instead of smashing it like in the video. Education is the way of the Prophet (saas) and the way of the Salaf-us-Salih in spreading tawhid. The Prophet (saas) destroyed the idols. Did he (saas) destroy the graves? I am not aware of any events in the seerah of this, if anyone finds this please share it with us all. JazakAllah khair.

    @Egyptian Gumbo – Oh my bad. Yup, that’s what you get for smokin and dealin’ that dro up in Somali-town, haha. I’m def down with public flogging of all druggies, thugs, theives, rapists, and the rest of the ills of society.

  11. @Abdullah – That is wrong! I completely condemn Somali Muslims fighting and killing each other. The Somali Sufis and Somali Salafis should unite for the sake of protecting their homeland from the invaders (Ethiopian troops paid by the US to invade).

  12. But you dont understand the whole story. These Sufi fighters are not going to Al-Shabab to kill them. The Sufis are not going on the offensive. The Sufis were being attacked and some of them were killed trying to defend the Holy Sites and graves of the Awliya. In the process of them defending themselves they killed 37 of them. What is wrong if Sunni Sufis defending themselves if they have no choice?

    Of course it is wrong to kill Muslims but when you have extremist Muslims that want to kill you what are you going to do? Are you going to let them kill you?

    You can’t not unite with people like that. Imam Ali RA engaged the Wahhabis (Khawarij) of his time and even killed them after exhausting all other options. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not trying to promote the killing of anyone but at the same time if you got to defend yourself then you got to do what needs to be done.

  13. @Abdullah – Did they resort to talking and discussing before fighting? Is it really worth fighting for the graves? Is it even worth for the al-Shabab to go and attack Muslims to destroy graves while the Ethiopian army rapes, pillages Somali Muslims?

    The scholars of all the Muslims in Somalia should come together and sign a peace treaty and focus together on defending the lands against the Ethiopian invaders and the pirates at sea. Put aside the fiqh, aqidah and the rest of the differences that exist.

  14. NUR, “awliya” doesn’t mean “saints,” it is the Plural of “Wali”, which could mean “friend of Allah” or “protector” depending on which context. I know WikiPedia is giving a warped definition of this. You and I can become Allah’s Wali if we are pious, richeous Mu’mineen

  15. @MR-To the best of my knowledge I was told that there were many discussions to try to come to a peaceful solution but Al-Shabab out of their zealousness insisted to carry out their evil objectives. I totally share your sentiment but the thing is that its not as black and white as many people might think it is. Al-Shabab is worse then the Bush Administration and the Ethiopian government. You might disagree with me or might find my views to be some what extreme but I really believe that the Wahhabis are the #1 enemies of Sunni Islam that our Beloved Prophet Pbuh has prophesied in several Hadiths. They are the worst of creation.

    There are 2 types of Wahhabis: the first kind are the “conscious” Wahhabis whom are nefarious and have a deep hatred for Traditional/Classical Sunnis and Sunni Sufis. They deliberately distort the religion and twist the teachings of Sunni Islam in order to achieve their nafsani/egoistic goals. The other type of Wahhabis are the majority, ignorant and unaware, victims of the Salafi Dawah. Most them are well-intentioned and sincere but unfortunately they have succumbed to this cancerous ideology and that is what exactly the first group (the conscious Wahhabis) want!

    I think the only way forward is to break the so called “Sunni Pledge” (Because the Salafis/Wahhabis are not Sunni) and to go head on with the Salafis by every means necessary until they are either purged from our communities or they lose confidence in spreading their ignorance and lies. Only then the real Sunnis can unite and bring the real Islam to North America and the world. We need to clean our back yard first. It is time for the Sunnis to wake up and take more of a hard stand against the people of innovation and fitna. And of course Allah knows best 🙂

  16. Next they will destroy the grave of the Prophet Muhammad salallahu alayhi wasalam. Actually, I think that is what they are campaigning for now! So where does the fear of shirk stop huh?

    MR your website is turning more and more schizophrenic day by day. I wouldn’t be surprised if you took this post down.

    Destroying graves, ANY graves out of fear of shirk is stupidity and is a war on Sufism.

    If you fear shirk learn the dua that Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasalam, taught us about it. Rather than use it to brainwash people!

  17. @Dawud Israel – I have clarified my post. I know i’ll get haters from both sites, but I’m, inshaAllah, taking the balanced and moderate mainstream middle path.

  18. @MR – I just want to make it clear to you that I have absolutely no personal grudges against you and I’m not a “hater”. The balanced and moderate mainstream middle path is not to take a little bit from Salafism and a little bit from Sunni Islam or to adopt positions in between them like what the Ikhwanis do (and on top of that the Ikhwanis like to formulate modernist opinions that are absurd and breaks Sunni Ijma/Consensus). In other words you can not unite 2 dichotomies which is just plain absurd and a form of religious hypocrisy. The Middle path is the path of the Ashairs, Maturidis, the four Sunni Schools of canonical Law, and Spiritual Paths of the Sunni Sufis. Anything other then that is deviation, heresy, and going astray. Now one does not have to necessarily be Ashari or Maturidi but at least ones creed and manhaj can not contradict the teachings of these 2 School of Creed by scholarly consensus. Yes there were Hanbalis and others that were not Ashari/Maturidi but they had a sound creed. Some scholars like to call them “Athari” or “Tahawi” or “Hanafi” or “Salaf” in Creed. There were early Hanafis whom were of the “Tahawi/Hanafi” creed whom did not go into speculative theology but it is an acceptable position to adopt. So this is the Middle Path and Allah Knows Best.

  19. MR what a foolish comment you make. Although you might say otherwise, you are infact condoning this barbaric destruction.
    You may not need a grave to get close to Allah though this does not mean they do not have special blessings and must be respected.

    Bilal (RA) rolled around in the prophet’s grave trying to get it’s baraka when he returned to Medina.

    don’t try to pawn off your ignorant indifference as ‘mainstream Islam’

  20. Saalam

    They’re not destroying the graves of Muslims. They’re destroying what’s on top, the people are buried under neath. They’re not gonna get hurt they’re dead.

    But I agree with what they’re doing. It does remind a person of the Prophet(saw) time(like someone said earlier).

    Good stuff!!

    wa alaykum assalam

  21. @ Halima – A few points I like to make with regards to your statement:

    1. During the time of our Beloved Prophet, Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallim, Muslims did not go around destroying graves or shrines.

    2. There is nothing wrong in building “shrines” to house the graves of the Prophets and the Awliya if it is done with the intention of preserving and protecting the Islamic Heritage and in honoring them. These great luminaries shed sweet and blood to bring the Guidance of Al-Islam to you and I and the rest of the world. This is the least that we can do to honor such great personalities. They were not “just humans”, they were something that you and I will never attain to unless if Allah wills otherwise, and Allah has power over all things.

    3. If you go across the Muslim World, you will see hundreds if not thousands of graves like the ones that “Al-Shabab” is destroying in Somalia. Never did the Sunni Clerics ever object to it and why all of a sudden its an issue? Is “Al-Shabab” more knowledgeable and righteous then the thousands of Sunni Scholars and Awliya that have passed away in the last 14 centuries? Isn’t this nothing but intellectual arrogance to say that we know better then our ancestors? If there was something wrong with these graves don’t you think the Muslim Clergy would of said something or instructed the Islamic Authorities to stop the Muslims from doing this a long time ago? Just to let you know many of these graves are centuries old and are you telling me that it took us that long to figure out that these sort of graves are un-Islamic? Come on Sister, use your head, think a little!

    4. The Awliya, Prophets, and Marytrs are not dead. They are alive in their graves something that Wahhabis will never understand. I advice you to purchase the book “Notions That Must Be Corrected” by the former Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Shaykh Shaykh Muhammad b. `Alawi al-Maliki al-Hasani. It has been translated into English. This book will inshAllah give you a better understanding of your Deen and remove many if not all of the erroneous positions that you have been systematically and unknowingly spoon fed:

  22. Haha again, with this “wahhabi” talk. Quit being Keller’s mouthpiece and use your own brain. Your 21st century distortion of “sufism” is becoming extinct, Inshallah. A great example is Musr!

  23. I’m not Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Kellers mouthpiece and I do not speak on his behalf. These are just my views and understandings and you don’t have to necessarily agree with what I’m saying. But I would be greatly honored if I were to become his spokesperson which I don’t even deserve. Nuh Keller is a hero and mujahid when it comes to speaking the truth.

  24. Salutations to al-Shabab of Somalia
    Posted (Anwar alAwlaki) in Imam Anwar’s Blog on December-21-2008

    We are following your recent news and it fills our hearts with immense joy. We would like to congratulate you for your victories and achievements.

    Al-Shabab not only have succeeded in expanding the areas that fall under their rule but they have succeeded in implementing the sharia and giving us a living example of how we as Muslims should proceed to change our situation. The ballot has failed us but the bullet has not.
    al-Shabab who are with limited resources in an impoverished country are a manifestation of what tawakul on Allah means. We see in them the meaning of “And whoever has taqwa, Allah will make a way out for him. And will provide for him from where he does not expect.” [al-Talaaq 2-3]
    The university of the battlefield that al-Shabab have chosen to study at, which is teaching them lessons in honor and steadfastness will prove to be a better tarbiyyah method than the Islamic universities run by Green Zone Scholars under governments headed by pimps that teach them the fiqh of weakness and humiliation.
    The university of Somalia will graduate an alumni of judges, administrators, enjoiners of good and forbiders of evil, capable and tested leaders, teachers, imams, and fighters who are hardened by the field and ready to carry on with no fear and hesitation. It will provide its graduates with the hands-on experience that the ummah greatly needs for its next stage.
    But their success depends on your support. It is the responsibility of the ummah to help them with men and money.
    Al-Shabab have already started a program of enforcement of law that would bring peace and security to the people. They are also applying hudud and fighting against innovations that have been around for centuries. We ask Allah to grant them success.
    I would like to take this opportunity to advise my brothers to be kind and soft with the masses; to excuse them for centuries of ignorance and false beliefs; to teach first and hold responsible last. I would advise you to go by certainty and to leave doubts; to prefer forgiveness over revenge. The masses of the people are suffering from the illnesses of tribalism, ignorance, and a campaign of defamation of sharia. Therefore you need to win the hearts and minds of the people and take them back to their fitrah.
    Dear brothers may Allah guide you and grant you victory. Only Allah knows that if my circumstances would have allowed I would not have hesitated in joining you and being a soldier in your ranks.
    Assalamu alaykum
    Your Brother
    Anwar al-Awlaki

  25. Salam

    The way I see it Somalis have been living in fear and desperation and social and political disorder for more then a decade. The hopeless aid from the Americans, the tribal disputes between the warlords and now the American led Ethiopians. The way I see it or any desperate starved Somalis sees it, their god send. My point is I don’t condone the destruction of graves but it seems that the Al-shabab mujahideen want to seem more threatening and proactive and public flogging and the destruction of graves does the trick. Their main goal gain peoples trust hence gain strength in numbers. They feel more in control of this hopeless situation. I can’t believe I’m quoting my mom but their situation isn’t going to get better until they can help themselves. Personally i don’t think they have any real vendetta against Muslim Sufi but its easier to blame the dead then face you own shortcomings.

    My own 2 cents

  26. @ Anwar al-Awlaki – I think that you should stick to producing more sirah sets because you don’t know what your talking about. Its obvious that you and many other naive Muslims have been duped into thinking that the Salafis/Wahhabis are the torch bearers of Sunni Islam and that the Ummah has fallen into shirk and innovation. The reality is that it is you and your so called “Al-Shabab” mujahideen that are guilty of the biggest innovation in Islamic history (actually they should be called “Al-Shayateen” because only Shayateen destroy Holy Sites and Muslim graves in the name of Islam). You and your kind are the worst of creation and the enemies of Allah-SWT and His Messenger Pbuh without you even realizing it. You and the likes of you know nothing of the Quran and Sunnah or the Shariah and the Salaf. Actually a goat in its barn has more knowledge then the best of you. You and your Shayateen are a disgrace to this Ummah, just a bunch of rag top Khawariji Fascist bigots. When the Sunnis wake up and deal with the likes of you then this world will be a better place.

  27. Abdullah, you talk a lot. I hope you have some kind of Islamic Education to back up your accusations. And Anwar Al-Awlaki is getting much more reward than you would ever wish. He has been detained and tortured ALL because he struggled in the path of Allah. He enlightens MILLIONS of Muslims by educating them on the The Prophet, Sahaba, and the Yaum Al-Qiyama. All you do is speak from your below-average knowledge of Islam. Less Opinion More Facts. Maybe you and Keller, and the rest of your 21st century “Sufis” need to quit talking and start Jihad i Fisibillilah!

    ” Think not of those who are slain in Allah’s way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord; They rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah: And with regard to those left behind, who have not yet joined them (in their bliss), the (Martyrs) glory in the fact that on them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve. ” (Al-E-Imran 169-70)

  28. SubhanaAllah, for those of you that think they’re doing wrong by destroying these graves, think again. I come from that very city where these graves are and I have to say, people that live in that area are pure sufi and some of them would visit those graves and call out the people that are buried in there.

    Al-shabab didn’t hurt anyone. All they’re doing is destroying the top part of the grave and there is nothing wrong with that. In Islam graves aren’t suppose like that anyway. May Allah guide those of you that are cursing these people. Al-Shabab are helping the Somali people, so please stop criticizing them. Ask Allah to give them towfik and hidaaya.


  29. @ Mostafa – Anwar Awlaki is a Khawariji Wahhabi and so what if he got tortured. It means nothing. If you wage war against the Friends of Allah and support terrorists like Al-Shayateen, what do you expect? Ibn Taymiyya and his student Ibn al-Qayyim were jailed because of their deviations. I will not stop fighting you Wahhabis for whatever remains of my life because I’ve stayed quiet for too long and I will not allow you to do this to our beautiful religion. I will do by best in contributing to the destruction of your destructive ideology so help me God. I might talk a lot but jihad can be done in any way and this is the jihad of the tongue.

    By the way the majority of things I have said are facts but you cant see that through your thick Wahhabi scull. 🙂 As for proofs, here you go:

    read every singe article on these websites and if your sincere and trutful, the light of truth will shine in your heart.


    The Hadith wherein Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) had prohibited the building up of solid walls around graves has been mentioned previously. Our Aimmah of the Ahle Sunnat have ruled this act as being Haraam based on the above-mentioned narration. Imaam Muhammed (rahmatullahi alaih) – one of the senior students of Imaam Abu Hanifah (radhiAllaahu anhu) – states:

    “We do not deem as correct (and permissible) to cover the grave with more sand than what was taken out therefrom. We regard as Makrooh (e-Tahrimi) the building up of (walls around) graves and plastering them (with mud or concrete). Indeed Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) h ad forbidden the building up of and solidifying graves. This is our Math-hab and this is Imaam Abu Hanifah‟s view also.” [Kitaabul Aathaar, page 96]

    Since our Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) had instructed Hadhrat Ali (radhiAllaahu anhu) to flatten all those graves which were high, Imaam Shaafi (rahmatullahi alaih) states that based upon this narration, he noted that in Makkah Mukarramah, the Aimmah had given the instructions that all built up graves be broken down. [Sharah Muslim Nawawi, page 312, vol.1]

    From this we can safely gauge that those Auliyaah whose graves have been built up and solidified, they are completely free and not responsible for such accretions and innovations. They had never desired, liked or encouraged such actions. The responsibility of these innovations must be borne by the worldly leaders and rulers, who had acted in contradiction of the blessed words of our Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) and innovated these detestable actions. Nowadays people have begun to accept these tomb s and built up graves as being a standard and a measure of piety and Wilaayat. You may also have experienced for yourselves where some tradesman used a dream or „Ilhaam‟ (Divine Inspiration) as a proof for building up some fake grave, wherafter the ignorant ones would go and worship at that grave. Inna Lillaahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Ra`jeoon. Nevertheless, almost every reputable Hanafi Kitaab, for example, Aalimgiri, Qaadhi Khaan, Durrul Mukhtaar, Kabeeri, etc. have stated this act as being totally impermissible. Allaamah Ibn Aabideen Shaami (rahmatullahi alaih) states:

    “As far as building up of graves, I have never seen consent being granted for it anywhere.” [Page 237, vol.2]

    Hadhrat Thanaaullaah Paani Pati Hanafi (rahmatullahi alaih) states: “And those graves (tombs) of the Auliyaah that are built up high, and lamps are lit there and all other such actions which take place there, are ALL HARAAM.” [Mala Budda Minhu, page 84]

    (copied from

  31. Imam ash-Shafii said: “I prefer that the soil used for a grave be no more than that dug for that grave. I like to see a grave raised above the ground the length of a hand or so. I prefer not to erect a structure over a grave or to whitewash it, for indeed this resembles decoration and vanity, and death is not the time for either of these things. I have never seen the graves of the Muhajirin or Ansar plastered. I have seen the Muslim authorities destroying structures in graveyards, and I have not seen any jurists object to this.”[Kitabul Umm]

    So who are you to object to your imaam ?

    Book 004, Number 2114:
    Thumama b. Shafayy reported: When we were with Fadala b. ‘Ubaid in the country of the Romans at a place (known as) Rudis, a friend of ours died. Fadala b. ‘Ubaid ordered to prepare a grave for him and then it was levelled; and then he said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) commanding (us) to level the grave. (Sahih Muslim)

    Book 004, Number 2115:
    Abu’l-Hayyaj al-Asadi told that ‘Ali (b. Abu Talib) said to him: Should I not send you on the same mission as Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) sent me? Do not leave an image without obliterating it, or a high grave without levelling It. This hadith has been reported by Habib with the same chain of transmitters and he said: (Do not leave) a picture without obliterating it. (Sahih Muslim)

    Hazrat Jabbir [r.a] narrated that Prophet had forbidden … from building structures and sitting over the graves.

    [Muslim, Tirmidi, Mishkaat]

    Imam Nawawi [r.h] writes in the sharah of this hadees:

    “To build a structure over the the grave if its owned, then its makrooh and if its common maqbara [shrine] then it’s haram. It has been clearly mentioned by Imam Shafi [r.h] and others and Imam Shafi [r.h] said in his Kitaab al-Umm that I saw the Imams in Makkah ordering the removal of the buildings over the graves and this is supported by the hadees.”

    [Sharh Saheeh Muslim vol 1 page 312]

    Mullah Ali Qari [r.h] went as far to say:

    “It is wajib to demolish the the structures over graves even if its masjid”

    Imam Syed Muhammed Alusi [r.h] says:

    “ is wajib to remove the high graves and large structures over the graves because they are more dangerous than Masjid Zarrar…and it is wajib to remove the lightening that is done over the graves [of Awliya]..”

    [Rooh-al-Maani vol 15 page 219]

    Hafiz ibn Qayyam [r.h] says:

    “It is wajib to remove them [the structures over the graves].” (source?)

    Hafiz ibn Hajjar Makki al-Shafi [r.h] says:

    “It is wajib to remove the structures and domes over the graves”.

    [Kitaab-al-Zawajir page 163]

    (copied from

  32. Abdullah, stop being arrogant my dear. Sheikh Anwar Al- Awlaki is great person and you are being rude and ignorant towards him. How dare you call him names. You should be ashamed of yourself my brother. You have no idea who Sheikh Anwar is because you wouldn’t talk to him the way you are. Shame on you.

  33. @ Mariam – I’m not being arrogant. The Wahhabis, you, and Al-Awlaki are being arrogant by assuming Sufis worship graves and are innovators.

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