Iman Ahmad, Al-Hakim, and others narrated about Marwan Ibn alHakam–an unjust ruler–that he once passed by the grave of the Prophet and saw a man with his cheek on the grave of the Prophet. Marwan Ibn al-Hakam asked: “Do you know what you are doing?” Nearing the grave, Marwan Ibn al-Hakam realized it was Abu Ayyub al-Ansariyy, one of the greatest companions of the Prophet.
(Abu Ayub was one of the greatest Companions of the Prophet. He never neglected performing jihad–even as an old man. He went with one of the Muslim armies at the time of Mu^awiyyah to liberate Constantinople. Despite his advanced age, he was patient on the hardship of the journey from Madinah to surround Constantinople–where he eventually died. Prior to his death, he asked the Muslims to advance as far as possible and bury him in that spot–which they did. The Muslim army that time was not successful in liberating Constantinople, and it remained in the hands of the kuffar who themselves tended the grave of Abu Ayyub because of the barakah they saw there! After several hundred years, Constantinople was liberated by Muhammad al-Fatih, the Ottoman. He wanted to know the location of the grave of Abu Ayyub which was no longer apparent since so many years had passed. Muhammad al Fatih asked one of the pious shaykhs in his army if he knew the location of Abu Ayyub’s grave. He answered Muhammad al Fatih by recalling a light he had seen the previous evening coming from a specific location which went all the way up in the sky. The shaykh suggested digging there might present the grave. They dug in that location until they uncovered a plate with a writing indicating this was the grave of Abu Ayub. Muhammad al Fatih built a mosque (masjid) in that location that still exists until today in Istanbul, Turkey. There is a great feeling of barakah and tranquility there).
Abu Ayyub al-Ansariyy replied, “Yes, I know what I am doing. I came here for the Messenger of Allah–not for the stone.” By this he meant he was seeking the blessings from the presence of the Prophet, not for the stone covering his grave. Abu Ayyub al-Ansariyy continued his response with what he heard the Messenger of Allah say: “Do not cry over the Religion of Islam if the rulers are ruling correctly. Rather, cry over this Religion if the rulers are ruling incorrectly.” By his response, Abu Ayyub was telling MarwanIbn al-Hakam: “You are not one of those rulers who are correctly ruling by the rules of Islam.”
Considering the actions of Abu Ayyub, should one regard the statements of Ibn Taymiyah (Ibn Taymiyah is a man who lived during the 8th century Hijriyy. He claimed that Allah is a body and has limits, that Hellfire vanishes, and that the kind of the universe is not created by Allah, among other blasphemous claims.) who claims visiting the grave of the Prophet seeking the benefit is prohibited? Who is more knowledgeable–Ibn Taymiyah or Abu Ayyub? Abu Ayyub was a man better than a whole earth filled with people like Ibn Taymiyah. Ibn Taymiyah and his followers claim they follow the teachings of Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, yet Imam Ahmad, as well as other Imams, say the opposite of their claim.