Kissing and touching the Grave or Grill of the Shrine of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and Graves of Sahabah and Awliya Allah

Kissing and touching the Grave or Grill
of the Shrine of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)
and Graves of  Sahabah and Awliya Allah
(1) It is in Hadith – Imam Qadi ‘Iyad writes in Shifa’ that: Naafi’ (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) said that when Ibn ‘Umar (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) would say Salam; he would say Salam on Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and Abu Bakr (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) more than 100 times, then he would go to the blessed pulpit (in Masjid-e-Nabawi) and touch the place with his hands where Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) sat and rub them over his face. (Qadi Iyad Shifa).
(2) It is in Hadith – Related with Abdullah bin ‘Umar (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) that he wiped his face at the place where  Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) sat.  (at-Tabqat al-Kubra ibn Sa’d, 1:254).
It is related about Sahaba (رضئ اللھ تعالی عنہم اجمعین ) that they  touched the circular parapet that is next to the blessed shrine  of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) with their right hand and then made supplications.
(3) It is in Hadith – It is reported in  “Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah” : Abu Bakr – meaning Ibn Abi Shaybah- told us; he said: Zayd Ibn Habbab told us; he said: Abu Mawdudah told me; he said: Yazid Ibn Abd-il-Malik Ibn Qasit told me; he said: I saw a group of the Companions of the Prophet (رضئ اللھ تعالی عنہم اجمعین ) if the Masjid was free for them, they stood up and went to the free rummanah (knob) of the minbar, rubbed it, and made dua’. (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah).

(4) Ibn Qaseet and ‘Utba narrate that when the companions (رضئ اللھ تعالی عنہم اجمعین ) would exit the Masjid an-Nabawi, they would touch the edges of the grave of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) with their hands and then make du’a.

(5) It is in Hadith – Narrated by Bayhaqi and Ibn Kathir – In the Ramadah Year, a companion went to the Grave of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and said: O Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), ask Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) to give rain to your Ummah; they are close to perish. (Bayhaqi and Ibn Kathir in his “Tarikh” said that this Hadith is Sahih).

It is important to note that Ibn Kathir is the student of Ibn Taymiyyah, but he differs from him in the issue of Waseelah (mediation) and  Isteghatha (seeking help of Prophet Mohammad – صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) Sahabah (رضئ اللھ تعالی عنہم اجمعین ) and Awliya Allah after their deaths).

(6) It is in Hadith – Narrated by al-Haakim that Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) placed his forehead on the grave of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).  Marwan Ibn al-Hakam (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) saw him and held his neck.  Abu Ayyub (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) said I did not come to the Stone.  I came to the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).  I heard the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) say : Do not weep for Islam if the qualified people were in-charge, but weep for it, if it was under the charge of unqualified.  (Al-Hakim related this Hadith in Mustadrak and said it is Sahih.  ad-Dhahabi (who is held in great respect by Salafis) agreed to his authentication.

(7) It is in Hadith – Dawud ibn Salih (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) said: “(The governor of Madina) Marwan ibn al-Hakam (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) one day saw a man placing his face on top of the grave of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). He said: “Do you know what you are doing?” When he came near him, he realized it was Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ). The latter ( Abu Ayyub al-Ansari – رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) said: “Yes; I came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), not to a stone.”

The above Hadith is mentioned in (i) Ibn Hibban in his Sahih, (ii) Ahmad (5:422), (iii) Al-Tabarani in his Mu’jam al-Kabir (4:189) and his Awsat (iv) According to Haythami in al-Zawa’id (5:245 and 5:441 #5845 Book of Hajj, “Section on the honoring of the dwellers of Madina, chapter on placing one’s face against the grave of our Master the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)” and #9252 Book of Khilafa, “Chapter on the leadership of those unworthy of it”), (v) al-Haakim in his Mustadrak (4:515); (vi) ad-Dhahabi said it was Sahih, (vii) as-Subki in Shifa’ al-Siqam (p. 126) and (viii) Ibn Taymiyya in al-Muntaqa (2:261 f.).

It is important to note that ad-Dahabi and Ibn Taymiyya have quoted this Hadith in their books which confirms that one can kiss the Grave and  place his head on the Grave of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and Awliya Allah and request their mediation (Waseelah) after the death.
(8) It is in Hadith – Narrated by  Ibn Majah, Ahmad, at-Tabarani, as-Subki and Ibn Asakir that :  Mu`adh Ibn Jabal (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) and Bilal (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) came to the Grave of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and sat weeping and Bilal (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) rubbed his face against the Grave of Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). (Ibn Majah 2:1320, Ahmad, al-Tabarani, al-Subki, and Ibn Asakir).

The above Hadith confirms the fact that kissing of Graves and placing your head on the Graves is the tradition of Sahabah (رضئ اللھ تعالی عنہم اجمعین ).

(9) It is in Hadith – Yahya (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) related from Imam Maalik (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) that he  heard that AIi Ibn Abi Talib (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) used to rest his head on Graves and lie on them [meaning  holding the grave with his stretched hands  while his head, entire face and chest is rested on the Grave]. Maalik (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) said, “As far as we can see, it is only forbidden to sit on the Graves to relieve oneself.” (Muatta’ Imâm Malik – Book #16, Hadith #16.11.34)

(10) We are providing here  Manuscripts about Imam Ahmad affirming seeking blessings from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) by touching and kissing his Minber and Grave.

وفي كتاب سؤالات عبد الله بن أحمد بن حنبل لأحمد رضي الله عنه قال: سألت أبي عن مسّ الرجل رمانة المنبر يقصد التبرك وكذلك عن مس القبر فقال: لا بأس بذلك ا.هـ.

وفي كتاب العلل ومعرفة الرجال ما نصه: سألته عن الرجل يمس منبر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ويتبرك بمسه ويقبّله ويفعل بالقبر مثل ذلك أو نحو هذا يريد بذلك التقرب إلى الله جل وعز، وقال: لا بأس بذلك ا.هـ.و التبرّك لغة هو طلب البركة أي الخير .. اللهم انفعنا ببركة سيدنا محمّد صلى الله عليه و سلم.

English Translation of the above Manuscripts

In the book “Su’alat (Questions of) Abdullah, son of Ahmad bin Hanbal to Ahmad” He said: “I asked my father (Ahmad bin Hanbal) about the person that touches the “Rummanah” Podium Knob (Where the Prophet – صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم – used to put his hand) with the intention of seeking blessings, and about touching the Grave of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) for blessings, he (Ahmad) said: “Nothing wrong with that”.

Also in the book “Al-ilal wa Marifatir-Rijal” he said: “I asked him (Ahmad bin Hanbal) about the person that touches the podium of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), seeking blessings by touching it and kissing it, and does the same to the grave, or as such, seeking the blessings from Allah the almighty, he (Ahmad) said: “Nothing wrong with that”.

(11) ad-Dhahabi (who is held in great honor by Salafis and their like minded groups) wrote the following  in his book Mu’jam al-Shuyukh (1:73 #58).
“Ahmad Ibn Hanbal was asked about touching the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) grave and kissing it and he saw nothing wrong with it. His son ‘Abd Allah related this from him. If it is asked: “Why did the Companions not do this?” We (Imam Ahmad) reply: “Because they saw him with their very eyes when he was alive, enjoyed his presence directly, kissed his very hand, nearly fought each other over the remnants of his ablution water, shared his purified hair on the day of the greater Pilgrimage, and even if he spat it would virtually not fall except in someone’s hand so that he could pass it over his face. Since we have not had the tremendous fortune of sharing in this, we throw ourselves on his grave as a mark of commitment, reverence, and acceptance, even to kiss it. Do you not see what Thabit al-Bunani (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) did when he kissed the hand of Anas ibn Malik (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) and placed it on his face saying: “This is the hand that touched the hand of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)“? Muslims are not moved to these matters except by their excessive love for the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), as they are ordered to love Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) more than their own lives, their children, all human beings, their property, and Paradise and its maidens. There are even some believers that love Abu Bakr (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) and ‘Umar (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) more than themselves. (Ad-Dhahabi, Mu’jam al-Shuyukh – 1:73 #58).
(12) Al-Buhuti (Hanbali scholar who followed Imam Ahmad)  said in ‘Kashshaful Qina’ : Ibrahim al-Haribi (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) said:  It is ‘Mustahab’ (liked) to kiss the chamber of Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).  Then Al-Buhuti (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) said: There is no objection to one’s touching the grave of Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) with hand.
(13) Shaikh as-Subki said ‘It is preferred to perform tawassul by Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and no one of the Salaf and Khalaf objected to it, except (it was first invented by) Ibn Taymiyyah’.
(14) Shams-ud-Din Ibn al-Jazari (who was Hafiz, Muhaddith, and the Shaykh of the Qurra’) in his famous book “Hisn-ul-Hasin” and its summary “Uddat-ul-Hisn-il-Hasin”, mentioned that the graves of the righteous are among the places of having the dua’  fulfilled.
(15) It is in Hadith – Ibn Abbas (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) related that Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said : Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) has angels other than Hafazah (angels who record human beings deeds) who roam (on Earth) writing what fall of tree leaves.  If any of you fell in a calamity in a desert, let him call : O’Slaves of Allah,  help. (Ibn Hajar mentioned this Hadith in ‘al-Amali’ and said that this Hadith is Hasan).
The above Hadith testifies that Istighatha (seeking help from the pious servants (Awliya Allah)  and angels in times of need) is mandatory in Islam.

(16) Hafiz Abd-ur-Rahman Ibn al-Jawzi mentioned in his book “Al-Wafa bi Ahwal-il-Mustafa” and Hafiz ad-Diya’ al-Maqdisi also mentioned it: From Abu Bakr al-Minqari : He said: At-Tabarani, Abush-Shaykh, and I were in the Haram of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) in a bad situation.  Hunger had affected us and we continued fasting that day. When the time of Isha’ came, I came to the Grave of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and said: O’ Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), hunger, hunger; and I left. Abush-Shaykh told me: Sit down, either there will be provision or death. Abu Bakr said: Abush-Shaykh and I slept, while at-Tabarani was sitting looking into something.  An Alawi (a descendant of Prophet Muhammadصلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) came and knocked the door. He had two servants, each had a big straw bag full of things.  We sat, ate, and thought that the rest will be taken by the servant. But, he departed and left the rest for us.  When we finished eating, the Alawi said: O’ people, did you complain to the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)? I saw the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) in the dream; he ordered me to carry something to you.

(17) Qadi Abu Abdillah al-Husain Ibn Ali Ibn Mohammad as-Saymari told – He said: Umar Ibn Ibrahim al-Muqri told us: He said Ali Ibn Maymum told us : He said, I heard Imam Shafi’i (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) say : I perform tabarruk by Abu Hanifah (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) and come to his grave every day (meaning visit his grave everyday).  If I needed something, I would pray ‘rak’atan’ (two rakah salah), come to his grave and ask Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) there.  It would not be too long before my need was fulfilled.

The above confirms the fact that Imam Shafi’i used to visit the grave of Imam Abu Hanifa daily and seek his mediation.  Thus, Imam Shafi’i believes in visiting the graves and in tawassul and isteghatha from pious servants of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) after their deaths.   The other imams of fiqh and Ahadith never objected to people visiting the graves and seeking mediationAs a matter of fact,  no one in Salaf and Khalaf ever objected to it, except this fitnah was started by Ibn Taymiyyah.

(18) It is in Hadith – Narrated by Ummul Momineen Aisha (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا): When Negus (the king of Abyssinia  – presently Ethiopia, who treated Muslim immigrants nicely in 615 AD) died, we were told (by Prophet Mohammad – صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) that a light would be seen perpetually at his Grave. (Abu Dawood – Book #14, Hadith #2517).

(19) It is in Hadith Narrated Al-Bara (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ): The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) went towards Al-Baqi (the Graveyard at Medina) on the day of Id-ul-Adha and offered a two-Rakat prayer (of ‘Id-ul-Adha)…. (part of the Hadith). (Bukhari –  Book #15, Hadith #93).

The above Hadith clearly specifies that Id-ul-Adha congregation prayer was done by the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and all Sahabah(رضئ اللھ تعالی عنہم اجمعین ) in the open area, very close by the graves at Jannat al-Baqi.

(20) It is in Hadith – Narrated by Ibn Umar who said : “In the Mosque of al-Khayf there is the Qabr (Grave) of seventy Prophets.”  (Tabarani in al-Kabir and al-Bazzar with a chain of trustworthy narrators, according to al-Haythami in Majma` al-Zawa’id  #5769, #5965).

The above Ahadith establishes the fact that we can pray salah, read Quran and make Dua standing or sitting close by the graves of Prophets, Sahabah and Awliya Allah).

(21) It is in Hadith – Narrated Ibn Abbas (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ). A person died and Allah’s Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) used to visit him. He died at night and (the people) buried him at night. In the morning they informed the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) (about his death). He said, “What prevented you from informing me?” They replied, “It was night and it was a dark night and so we disliked to trouble you.” The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) went to his Grave and offered the (funeral) prayer.  (Bukhari Book #23, Hadith #339)

(22) It is in Hadith – Narrated Anas bin Malik (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ): We were (in the funeral procession) of one of the daughters of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and he (Prophet – صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) was sitting by the side of the Grave… (part of the Hadith) (Bukhari – Book #23, Hadith #374).

(23) It is in Hadith – Ummul Momineen Aisha (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا) narrates that: “When Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) used to stay with her, in the last part of the night he used to go to the graveyard of Madinah (Muslim, Mishkat page 154)

(24) It is in Hadith – Muhammad bin Nu’man (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) narrates that Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said: “Whoever visits his parents’ graves or visits one of their graves every Friday, then he will be forgiven and will be written as being one of the pious” (Mishkat page 154).

(25) It is in Hadith – Abu Qatada (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) narrates that Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said: “When you are a custodian of any dead, give them a fine shroud because they (the dead believers) visit one another place and meet one another (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Baihaqi).

(26) It is in Hadith – Narrated Ash-Shaibani (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ): Ash Sha’bi (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) said, “I was informed by a man who had seen the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) going to a Grave that was separate from the other Graves and he aligned the people in rows and said four Takbir.” I said, “O’ Abu ‘Amr(رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ)! who narrated (that) to you”? He said, “Ibn Abbas (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ). ” (Bukhari – Book #23, Hadith #405)

(27) It is in Hadith – Ibn Abd al-Wahab an-Najdi at-Tamimi has mentioned this Hadith in his book “Ahkam Tamanni  al-Mawt”.  A young boy used to do (a lot) of prayers in Masjid, however one woman fell in love with him and she started to attract him towards herself until one day he got persuaded and came to her house, but he recalled this Quranic verse: { Lo! those who ward off (evil), when a glamor from the devil troubles them, they do but remember (Allah’s – سبحانہ و تعا لی guidance) and behold them seers}, he fainted right over there, when he recovered he remembered the verse again and fainted once again but this time he passed away. After his death Umar (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) met his father being saddened at his death, (the boy) was buried during night, Umar (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) took his companions along and visited his grave, he prayed there and “Called the Boy” saying: Whosoever feared to stand in front of his Lord then there are 2 gardens for him! Voice came from the grave O’Omar (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) has granted me both the gardens. (Tafseer Ibn Kathir under verse 7-201).

(28) It is quoted by Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya in his book ‘Kitab ar-Rooh’. It is narrated by Ibn Uyaina’s maternal cousin Fudayl that he got very sad on the death of his father and he used to do Ziyarah of his Grave everyday.  However, by the will of Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ), after sometime he did not visit it often.  Once when he came and sat by the side of the grave of his father, (after some time) he fell asleep and saw in the dream that his father’s grave has been opened and he is covered in a sheet with a look which is of dead people.  Seeing this, he started to cry. (His father) asked : My son why did not you visit me everyday? He replied : Are you aware of my visitation? (His father) said: I was aware of your arrival every time and your visitation and your Dua is a source of happiness not only for me but also those who are buried near me.  After this I (again) started to visit his Grave very often.  (Kitab ar-Rooh written by Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya).

(29) It is in Hadith – “Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said – The Prophets are alive and they pray in their graves”; narrated by al-Mundhiri and al-Baihaqi who classified it as authentic (Sahih).

(30) It is in Hadith – The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) told Mu’adh Ibn Jabal (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) to visit his Grave whenever he would return from Yemen. And he (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) promised his intercession to those who would do so. (Musnad Ahmad with two sound chains as stated by al-Haythami, al-Bazzar, al-Tabarani in al-Kabir and Musnad al-Shamiyeen. Ibn Abi Asim in al-Ahad wal-Mathani and as-Sunna. Ibn Hibban in his Sahih, Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra).

(31) It is in Quran – “And say not of those who are killed in the way of Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) as dead.  Nay, they are living, but you perceive (it) not” (Al-Baqarah – 154).

From the above Quranic Verses, Ahadith and quotes, following Islamic Principles are established.

(a) Kissing and touching and placing the head on the grave of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and Sahabah (رضئ اللھ تعالی عنہم اجمعین ) and Awliya Allah is the tradition of Sahabah (رضئ اللھ تعالی عنہم اجمعین ).

(b) It is important that whenever we visit the Dargah of Awliya Allah, we should pay a lot of respect, we can sit beside the grave or touch and kiss the grave by placing our head on the grave in reverence and make dua for their mediation.  All these are proved from above Quranic verses and Ahadith.  Those who claim it is shirk,  have definitely deviated from the straight path of Islam and may face  severe eternal punishment after their deaths.

(c) Sitting beside the graves of Sahabah (رضئ اللھ تعالی عنہم اجمعین ) and Awliya Allah or reading Quran  or performing Salah (facing Qibla,  and not the Grave)  is Sunnah.

(d) Awliya Allah, during their life time and after their deaths are our Shuyooks, teachers and appointed helpers for people.  Please read verse 55, Al-Maeda, mentioned below.  Divinity is only associated with the Unity of Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) and other than Him, all human beings are His servants with varied responsibilities in this world and in Hereafter.

It is in Quran – إِنَّمَا وَلِيُّكُمُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَهُمْ رَاكِعُونَ (Meaning – Your guardian (or solver of grievances) can only be Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) and His Messenger ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) and those who believe, who establish  Salah, and pay Zakat  and bow down (in prayer) (Al-Maeda – 55) ( Pickthal translation).

The above verse clearly establishes that Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) is the Guardian and solver of grievances of people.  In addition, Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is also the guardian and solver of grievances of people in the sense that Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) listens to his prayers more than anyone else.  Similarly, Sahabah (رضئ اللھ تعالی عنہم اجمعین ) and Awliya Allah are also guardians and solvers of grievances of people in the sense that their Dua is answered faster than the Dua of sinful Muslims.

The above Quranic verse clearly establishes the authenticity of Isteghatha (asking for help) and Tawassul (Mediation) of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), Sahabah (رضئ اللھ تعالی عنہم اجمعین ) and Awliya Allah, during their lives and after their deaths.

(e) Though Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) is not dependent on Awliya Allah to listen to people’s prayers, however it is expected that Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) will listen to Dua of the pious human beings faster than the Dua of the sinful people.  Therefore,  we approach Awliya Allah to make supplication for us.   Imam Shafi’i, other Imams, Sahabah and Awliya Allah have practiced it successfully for over 1400 years now.

(f) Awliya Allah are alive in Life after death and they can see, listen, talk and reply to us when we visit their graves.

(g) Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) has commanded us to visit the graves of Awliya Allah, our Shuyooks and parents as frequently as possible.  It is the tradition of Imams of Fiqh, theology, Muhadditheen,  and other important dignitaries of Islam.

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