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Ibn Abi Ahmed
10-31-2007, 01:12 AM
:sl:

Transferred over from the Multaqa forums.

Inshallah, in this thread we can compile ahadith and statements from scholars on the topic "The Prohibition of Building Structures over graves and the Obligation to remove them" and topics which may come up in the discussion of the same.

From Sahih Muslim

Chapter 47: FORBIDDANCE TO BUILD MOSQUES ON THE GRAVES AND DECORATING THEM WITH PICTURES AND FORBIDDANCE TO USE THE GRAVES AS MOSQUES

Book 004, Number 1076:
'A'isha reported: Umm Habiba and Umm Salama made a mention before the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) of a church which they had seen in Abyssinia and which had pictures in it. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: When a pious person amongst them (among the religious groups) dies they build a place of worship on his grave, and then decorate it with such pictures. They would be the worst of creatures on the Day of judgment in the sight of Allah.

Book 004, Number 1079:
'A'isha reported: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said during his illness from which he never recovered: Allah cursed the Jews and the Christians that they took the graves of their prophets as mosques. She ('A'isha) reported: Had it not been so, his (Prophet's) grave would have been in an open place, but it could not be due to the fear that it may not be taken as a mosque.
Book 004, Number 1080:
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Let Allah destroy the Jews for they have taken the graves of their apostles as places of worship.
Book 004, Number 1081:
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Let there be curse of Allah upon the Jews and the Christians for they have taken the graves of their apostles as places of worship.
Book 004, Number 1082:
'A'isha and Abdullah reported: As the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) was about to breathe his last, he drew his sheet upon his face and when he felt uneasy, he uncovered his face and said in that very state: Let there be curse upon the Jews and the Christians that they have taken the graves of their apostles as places of worship. He in fact warned (his men) against what they (the Jews and the Christians) did.
Book 004, Number 1083:
Jundub reported: I heard from the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) five days before his death and he said: I stand acquitted before Allah that I took any one of you as friend, for Allah has taken me as His friend, as he took Ibrahim as His friend. Had I taken any one of my Ummah as a friend, I would have taken Abu Bakr as a friend. Beware of those who preceded you and used to take the graves of their prophets and righteous men as places of worship, but you must not take graves as mosques; I forbid you to do that.
Chapter 199: COMMANDMENT IN REGARD TO THE LEVELLING OF THE GRAVE
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.
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.
Chapter 200: IT IS FORBIDDEN TO PLASTER THE GRAVE OR CONSTRUCTING ANYTHING OVER IT
Book 004, Number 2116:
Jabir said: Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) forbade that the graves should be plastered or they be used as sitting places (for the people), or a building should be built over them.
Book 004, Number 2118:
Jabir said that he was forbidden to build pucca graves. ( Can I have an alternate translation?)
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Ibn Abi Ahmed
10-31-2007, 01:12 AM
Statements from the Hanafi Scholars
  1. "It is prohibited to strengthen (or cement, reinforce) the graves."[Kitab al-athar,Imam Muhammed]
  2. Imam Sarkhasi says in al-Masbut,"Do not reinforce the graves because its forbiddance is proven from the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihiwasallam."[Al-Masbut by Imam Sarkhasi v.2, p.26]
  3. Qadhi Khan says in his Fatawa, "The graves should not be strengthened and neither should tombs and structures be built over them because its negation has been related from Abu Hanifah."[Fatawa Qadhi Khan, v.1 p.194]
  4. Imam Kasani says,"It is detestable to strengthen the graves and Imam Abu Hanifah considered it detestable to build tombs and similar structures over the graves. It contains wastage of wealth. Whereas there is no harm in sprinkling of water over the grave but it is related from Imam Yusuf that even sprinkling of water is detestable because the grave cements due to it."[Badai' as-Sinai' by Imam Kasani v.1 p.320]
  5. Mulla Ali Qari al-Hanafi writes,"The prohibition of lighting up lamps upon the graves has come because it is from the wastage of wealth, and fbecause in them are the signs of Hellfire and because it contains glorification of the graves.”[Murqah of Mulla Al Qari]
  6. Qadhi Ibrahim writes mentioning the foundations of those who worship graves,"Nowadays some deviant people have started making Hajj of the graves and have established manners (or rituals) for it. And from those matters that oppose thereligion and Shari'ah is that people express helplessness and humility near the graves, and light lamps upon them. To offer Chadar upon the graves, to assign a guard for them, to kiss them and to seek provision and children near them, all these matters have no proof from the Shari'ah Islamiyyah." [Ja' al-Haq p.302]
  7. Allamah Haskafi al-Hanafi says,"Those offerings and vows that are taken by themasses upon the graves, be they in the form of cash or oil, then upon consensus it is falsehood and forbidden."[Darral Mukhtar by Haskafi v.2, p.139]
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Ibn Abi Ahmed
10-31-2007, 01:13 AM
From Fiqh us Sunnah

Volume 004 : Funerals and Dhikr. Fiqh 4.066.
---------------------------------------------
Section : The Sunnah Concerning Graveyards.

The sunnah is to raise the grave at least one hand above the ground so it is known that it is a grave. It is forbidden to raise it more than that. This is based on a narrative reported by Muslim and others from Harun that Thamamah ibn Shufayy told him: "Once we were with Fadalah bin 'Ubayd in the Roman land of Brudis. One of our companions died and upon burying him we were ordered by Fudalah ibn 'Ubayd to level his grave. Then Fudalah said: 'I heard Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him, ordering people to level the graves of the deceased." It is reported from Abul al-Hayaj al-Asadi who said 'Ali bin Abu Talib told me: "Should I not instruct you to do as the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, instructed me? Do not leave a statue standing without removing it. Do not leave a grave raised without levelling it."

Tirmizhi said: "Some scholars act upon this opinion. They disapprove of raising the grave more than necessary to indicate that it is a grave, and so people will not step or sit on it." Muslim governors used to destroy cemetery structures not permitted by the law, in accordance with the authentic sunnah. Ash-Shafi'i 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."

Ash-Shawkani said: "It is apparent that raising graves more than what is legally permitted is forbidden. The followers of Ahmad, a group of the followers of Ash-Shafi'i, and Malik are of this opinion. An opinion that raised graves are not prohibited because this practice occurred during the time of the first and later generations without disapproval, which is the position of Imam Yahya and Mahdi in al-Ghayth, is not correct. This argument is based only on their silence about the practice, and silence is not proof when a matter rests on mere assumption, for prohibition of raising graves is presumptive."

Included in the discussion of raising the grave are dome buildings, shrines built on graves, and erecting mosques around graves. The Prophet, peace be upon him, cursed those who did that. The practice of erecting buildings around graves and beautifying them causes corruption, which Islam seeks to eliminate.

Part of such a corruption is exaggerating the importance of graves, in accordance with the superstitious belief of the ignorant, similar to the belief of non-believers in their idols, that these monuments can bring benefit or prevent harm. Thus they travel to these graves for fulfilment of their needs or achievement of their goals. They ask those in the graves what believers should ask only of their Lord. They ride horses to them, touch them, and seek their aid. In general, they do exactly what the pre-Islamic people used to do with their idols.

Despite this disgraceful, reprehensible evil and hideous disbelief, how many people dare to take a stand for the cause of Allah, or evince any uneasiness for the defence of the true din? Where are the scholars and students, and the rulers, the ministers, and the kings, who are obliged to teach the truth? Various reports reaching us leave little doubt that many of these grave adorers, in fact most of them, when confronted and asked under oath to reject such idolatry would readily take a solemn oath falsely by Allah. But if you then ask them, "(Swear) by your spiritual leader and your saint, so-and-so," they will ponder, apologize, refuse, and confess the truth. This is one of the clearest proofs that their polytheism is indeed worse than that of the Christians and others who say: "Allah, the Exalted, is the second of two or the third of three."

O scholars of Islam! O kings of Islam! What calamity to Islam is worse than disbelief? What tribulation for this religion is worse than worshipping others than Allah? What misfortune for Muslims can equal this misfortune? Is there any more serious abomination than this open polytheism?

You might be heard if you called the living, But there is no life in him whom you call; Had there been a fire in which you blew, there would have been light; but you blew in the sand.

The scholars have issued clear legal verdicts concerning the destruction of mosques and domes built in cemeteries. Ibn Hajar said in his az-Zawajir: (This is a collection of legal verdicts, published when king Al-Zahir decided to destroy all the buildings in the graveyards. Coeval Islamic scholars collectively supported him saying to do so was incumbent upon the ruler.) "We should not hesitate to destroy mosques and domes built over graves. These are worse than the mosque of adDirar, because these things are erected in disobedience to the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him. The Prophet, peace be upon him, has forbidden this and has ordered the destruction of raised graves. Every lamp or lantern placed over a grave must be removed. It is not correct to stop at a grave or make a vow at it.
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Ibn Abi Ahmed
10-31-2007, 01:13 AM
Volume 004 : Funerals and Dhikr. Fiqh 4.068.
---------------------------------------------
Section : Making Humps over Graves and Flattening Them.

Jurists agree that it is permissible either to make a little hump over the grave or to flatten it. At-Tabari said: "I dislike it for a grave to be prepared in any way other than these two: it should be either levelled with the ground or raised with a hump over it, but no higher than one hand, as is the common practice among Muslims. Levelling the grave differs from flattening it completely. Jurists differ concerning which of these two methods is best. Al-Qadi 'Iyad has reported from the major scholars that it is best to make a hump over the grave because Sufyan an-Nammar told him that he had seen the grave of the Prophet, peace be upon him, with a hump over it." (Bukhari) This is the opinion of Abu Hanifah, Malik, Ahmad, al-Mazani, and many scholars of the Shafi'i school. Ash-Shafi'i's opinion, however, is that because of the order of the Prophet, peace be upon him, levelling is best.
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Ibn Abi Ahmed
10-31-2007, 01:14 AM
Volume 004 : Funerals and Dhikr. Fiqh 4.069A.
----------------------------------------------
Section : Building Mosques or Placing Lights on Graves.
There are many sound and clear hadith concerning the unlawfulness of building mosques over graves or putting lights on them. Abu Hurairah reported: "The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: 'May Allah destroy the Jews, because they used the graves of their prophets as places of worship.'' (Bukhari and Muslim)

Ibn 'Abbas reported: "The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, cursed the women who visit graves and those who build mosques and place lights on them.'' (Reported by Ahmad and other compilers of the Sunan except Ibn Majah. Tirmizhi considers it a sound hadith) Abdullah Al-Bujali said: "I heard Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him, five nights before his death, saying: 'I declare myself innocent before Allah of having an intimate friend from among you. Indeed, Allah, the Mighty and the Majestic, has taken me as an intimate friend just as he took Ibrahim as His intimate friend. Had I to take an intimate friend from among you, I would have taken Abu Bakr as my intimate friend. Before you there was a group who turned the graves of their prophets and their righteous ones into mosques. Do not turn graves into mosques. I forbid you to do that.'' (Muslim)

Abu Hurairah narrated: "The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: 'May Allah curse Jews and Christians for they turned the graves of their Prophets into places of worship'.'' (Muslim Bukhari and Muslim)

'Aishah reported: "Umm Habibah and Umm Salamah mentioned to Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him, a church in which they saw drawings while in Abyssinia, whereupon he said: 'Those people used to build a place of worship over the grave of a righteous man among them when he died and make such drawings in it. These will be the worst of people in the sight of Allah on the Day of Resurrection.'' (Bukhari and Muslim)

The author of Al-Mughni said: "It is not permissible to build mosques around graves because of the statement of the Prophet, peace be upon him, 'May Allah curse the women who visit graves and those who build mosques and place lights over them.''' (Reported by Abu Daw'ud and Nasa'i)

If it were permissible, the Prophet, peace be upon him, would not have cursed those who did it. Moreover, this practice wastes money and encourages adoration of graves similar in spirit to the adoration of idols. Because of this report it is not permissible to build mosques over graves. Besides, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "May Allah curse the Jews who turned the graves of their prophets into places of worship," in order to warn others against pursuing a similar course. (Muslim and Bukhari)

'Aishah said: "The only reason the grave of Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him, was not made prominent was to stop people from turning it into a mosque." Designating certain graves as places of prayers is similar to adoring idols and seeking their pleasure. The worship of idols started with the adoration of the dead, making images of them, touching them, and offering prayers at their graves. (The commentator on this said: "It points to what Bukhari narrated from Ibn Abbas concerning the reason why the people of Noah worshipped idols. They were known as Wadd, Sawa', Yaghuth, Ya'uq, and Nasr. These were pious people of whom they made images in order to remember them after their death and imitate them. Due to the lack of knowledge that became prevalent among the people, Satan made it appear beautiful to worship their images and likenesses, and to honour them, wipe over them, and approach them. Wiping them is passing one's hand over them to invoke their blessing and intercession. The same was done to the graves of righteous people. This practice was initiated by idolaters, and then passed on to Jews and Christians and then to Muslims. Such objects are equivalent to idols.")
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Ibn Abi Ahmed
10-31-2007, 01:16 AM
Volume 004 : Funerals and Dhikr. Fiqh 4.072. (from Fiqh-us-Sunnah
---------------------------------------------
Section : Prohibition of Whitewashing or Writing on a Grave.
Jabir reported: "The Prophet, peace be upon him, forbade the whitewashing of a grave, sitting on it, or erecting any structure on it." (Reported by Ahmad, Muslim, Nasa'i, Abu Daw'ud, and Tirmizhi who said that it is a sound hadith) Tirmizhi reported this hadith with this wording: "The Prophet, peace be upon him, forbade the whitewashing of graves, writing on them, building on them, or stepping on them." Nasa'i, reported it in these words: "The Prophet, peace be upon, forbade building over a grave, adding anything to it, white washing it, or writing on it."

The majority of scholars interpret this prohibition as an expression of disapproval, while Ibn Hazm takes it to mean that the act is unlawful. The wisdom behind it is that a grave is not made to last forever, but is sure to disintegrate with the passage of time. whitewashing graves is decorating them with the beauty of this world for which the dead have no need. Others think that its wisdom lies in the fact that whitewashing is done by burning gypsum (brimstone): This view is supported by a narration of Zaid bin Arqam who said to a person who wanted to build something over his son's grave and whitewash it: "You are wrong and have done a useless thing. Nothing touched by fire should be brought near the grave." There is nothing wrong, however, in daubing it with clay. Tirmizhi said: "Some scholars, including Al-Hasan alBasri, hold it permissible to coat the graves with clay." Ash-Shafi'i is also of the same view and sees no harm in giving the graves a coating of clay.

Ja'far bin Muhammad reported from his father: "The grave of the Prophet, peace be upon him, was raised one hand from the ground and was coated with red clay and some gravel." This was narrated by Abu Bakr An-Najjad, but AlHafiz did not comment on this in his ai-Talkhis.

The scholars also disapprove of building graves with bricks or wood or burying the dead with a coffin unless the burial ground was wet or soft. If it is wet or soft, then it is permissible to use bricks and the like and to place the body in a coffin. It is reported from Mughirah that Ibrahim said: "The scholars preferred bricks of clay and straw, but disliked clay bricks; they preferred bamboo and disliked wood."

Concerning the hadith prohibiting writing on graves, it apparently includes writing the name of the deceased or any other thing on the grave. AlHakim commented on this hadith and said: "Though its chain of narrators is sound, in practice, however, it was not followed." Many Muslims from the East and the West do write on the graves. This is a practice that was passed on from one generation to the next. Azh-Zhahabi said: "This hadith is an innovated one, and no prohibition is genuinely reported."

The Hanbali school holds that inscription on graves is prohibited, whether it is a portion of the Qur'an or the name of the deceased." The Shafi'i school agrees with this ruling, but they also hold: "If the grave is of a scholar or a righteous man, it is preferable to write his name on it to make it known."

The Maliki school holds that writing any portion of the Qur'an is not permissible, but writing the name and date of death of the deceased is disliked (makruh).

The Hanafi school disapproves of writing anything on the grave and considers it unlawful, except when it is feared that any trace of the grave might disappear. Ibn Hazm said: "It is not disapproved if the name of the deceased was engraved on a rock."

It is forbidden in a hadith "to add more soil than what was taken out when digging the grave." Al-Baihaqi has dealt with this under a separate chapter entitled, "No adding of soil to the grave in excess of what is taken therefrom."

Ash-Shawkani said that: "Adding apparently here means adding more soil than what was taken out while digging the grave." Some interpreted the addition to a grave as making a grave over another one. Ash-Shafi'i preferred, however, the first interpretation, saying that it was preferable not to add more soil than what was taken out while digging the grave which is preferred lest the grave be raised high. So long as the additional soil does not raise the grave higher than the ground, there is nothing wrong with it.
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Ibn Abi Ahmed
10-31-2007, 01:17 AM
Imam Qurtubi says:
Therefore, the Muslims went to great lengths to block the tendency to do so at the grave of the Prophet (saws). They raised the dirt walls around it high, completely surrounding it and blocking off the entrances to it. Then they feared that the location of his grave might be turned into a direction for prayer, because it was in the direction the worshippers face and some of them might get the idea that facing it was an act of worship. For this reason, they built two walls at the northern corners of the grave and placed them at a slant so that they would form a triangle with on of its corners pointing to the North. In this way, no one could be able to directly face the grave while making his prayer.“
al-Mufhim lima Ashkal min Talkis Kitâb Muslim (2/128)
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Ibn Abi Ahmed
10-31-2007, 01:17 AM
The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“ O Allah, do not turn my grave into an idol. May the curse of Allah be upon those who take the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.”
Related by Ahmad (no. 7352)
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Ibn Abi Ahmed
10-31-2007, 01:18 AM
Imam Malik (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about a stranger who comes to the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) each day. He said, ‘That is not right,’ and quoted the hadith, ‘O Allah, do not make my grave an idol that is worshipped.’

[al-Jami’ li’l-Bayan by Ibn Rushd Classed as sahih by al-Albani in Tahdhir al-Sajid min Ittikhadh al-Qubur Masajid, p. 24-26.]


Ibn Rushd said: “So he regarded it as makruh to pass by it a great deal to send salam on him, and to come there every day, lest the grave become like a mosque to which people come every day to pray. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) forbade that when he said, ‘O Allah, do not make my mosque an idol.’”

[al-Bayan wa’l-Tahsil by Ibn Rushd, 18/444-445.]


Al-Qadi ‘Iyad was asked about people of Madinah who stand by the grave one or more times a day, and they send salams and make du’a’ for a while. He said, “I have not heard of this from any of the fuqaha’, and nothing is good for the latter generations of this ummah except that which was good for its first generations. I have not heard that any of the first generations of the ummah used to do that.”

[Al-Shifa bi Ta’rif Huquq al-Mustafa, 2/676.
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Ibn Abi Ahmed
10-31-2007, 01:20 AM
Ibn Taymiyyah writes:
‘…The belief that supplication is more acceptable near graves has given rise to the practice of regular visits to certain graves. Urs is held at appointed days at certain graves. This practice is in contradiction to the Prophet's prohibition of not taking graves as place of gatherings. Moreover, he cursed the Jews and the Christians for having turned graves of their Messengers into places of worship. He had explicitly asked his community not to take graves as mosques, a wrong deed committed by earlier communities. Yet, Urs (procession) is held at appointed dates at several graves. People assemble there exactly in the same manner as they do at Arafat, Muzdalifah and Mina. So much attention is paid to Urs that one feels that such arrangements are not made even for Hajj. People visit these graves from far and wide, and in the same manner as for Hajj. Some people even refer to these journeys as Hajj itself.

Such a journey for making supplication or worshiping near graves cannot be held as lawful in any case. No Muslim scholar can dispute this point. Some pseudo-scholar of later date might have justified it, which is not in our knowledge. What is plainly clear is that such a practice amounts to taking graves as places of gatherings...Those indulging in innovation have even erected mosques at these grave… The pious people, no doubt, deserve our love and obedience in that they have revived the faith. We should undoubtedly follow them. We should make supplication for their forgiveness and that Allah's Mercy and Pleasure descend on them. However, we should never take their graves as places of congregation. For such practices have been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger. We must shun these.

What lies at the root of this innovation is the belief that it is better to pray near graves and that it leads to the acceptance of one's supplication. If this false belief is removed from the minds and hearts, this practice would come to an end. We consider it as our duty to reiterate the point that there are many evils in congregating near graves hence making supplications there is forbidden as is offering prayer there. However, offering supplications there is much more serious in that it poses a serious trial for the Muslim community. It opens the door to polytheism. A Muslim who is concerned about his faith and about his success in the Hereafter must avoid this innovation.'
Iqtida Sirat al-Mustaqim
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