Seeking blessings from graves and their dwellers such as Ajmeer Shareef, Abdul Qaadir

Question: In our country, a celebration called `Urs is held every year around the grave of a man whom people claim was one of the Awliyaa` (pious people). Since the purpose of such celebrations is to grant the deceased a reward, people slaughter cows and sheep and feed everyone. However, the so-called `Urs is not only an invitation to have food but a way to draw closer to Allaah through Tawassul (supplicating to Allaah through a means) by the deceased.

All the graves of the Awliyaa’ are lit up with colored lamps during the celebration. Leveled graves and their surroundings are decorated with marble and cement. People, media and journalists are invited to join in the celebration. Incense sticks are lit, the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is celebrated, and people invoke Allaah’s peace and blessings on the Prophet loudly while standing and sitting. They chant songs of thanking and praising Allaah (Exalted be He) with and without using musical instruments. People call the foregoing: Thikr Jalee (apparent Remembrance of Allaah). They touch the graves claiming that they get blessed by doing so, and they recite the Qur’aan around the graves and perform Salaah (Prayer) beside them.

During this celebration both gifts and money are accepted and the latter is spent on buying courtyards, constructing houses for visitors to stay in, or building Masjids (mosques) over or above the graves. The visiting men, women, and children hope for Allaah’s Mercy and ask Him to grant them children and wealth, relieve their distresses, and cure their sick. The bereaved family or the organizer of the celebration calls on the visitors to give their pledge of allegiance that they will follow the tradition of the deceased. This is the main aim of the whole celebration because people believe that this pledge of allegiance leads to right guidance and they use it for making Tawassul. People undertake long distance journeys to visit the graves. Some people come from outside the country so that photos and the news of their arrival are published in newspapers, saying: “The servant of Ajmeer Al-Shareef has arrived to India… From Dacca or Karachi…” People are called to hasten to give gifts and money. They are also urged to accept the gifts that the organizers of the celebration give to them before leaving. Visitors usually receive gifts of flowers from the grave of the deceased, his garden, or the garden of the person who looks after the grave.

Moreover, the organizers of this celebration send out printed letters to different people around the world including the people of the holy cities of Makkah and Al-Madeenah. This is something that I have personally seen. Some of these letters have been written to Bangladeshi and Pakistani Muslims in their languages and sent to them in Saudi Arabia where they live and work. The letters that I have seen were sent by a representative called Ajmeer Al-Shareef who wrote from India explaining the rituals of the celebration, i.e. The way and time of doing (Tawaaf, circumambulation around the grave) and the way and time on which the (door of Jannah; Paradise) – that is claimed to be by the end of the grave’s site – is open. We seek refuge with Allaah from all this.

Anyway, the organizers encourage people to send gifts along with the addresses of their friends, whatever they might be, to be contacted by them. They also warn people that they will receive a divine punishment if they do not send gifts or do what they are ordered. Thus, people yield to such commands lest they should be punished thinking that they are doing good. Also, in our country there is a stream beside the grave of a pious man who passed away seven hundred years ago. This man was Daa’iyah (One who calls people to Islaam). His name was Shah Jalaal Al-Yamanee (may Allaah be merciful to him) who lived in Salmat and is historically famous. However, the fish of this stream are said to be holy so when it dies people perform Funeral Prayer for it and bury it. Moreover, most of the people of this region do not eat pigeons; or rather, they are prevented from eating them for some people claim they are ascribed to that righteous man. Some people believe that the pigeons of this region areowned by Shah Jalaal so they do not eat them. Moreover, in our country a turtle is claimed to be holy and there are some other things that are very lamentable.

To give an example, a very strange thing happened earlier this week. A man, who follows a shaykh about whom we know nothing, announced that he will do `Urs for his shaykh. Thus, he imported 25 camels from Pakistan (camels are very rare in our country and we only read about them in stories about the desert and the Arabs). He bought thousands of cows and sheep and put them in exhibitions in the capital so that the people could see them. He marked and garlanded all those animals. The people were fascinated by this. They came to these exhibitions in huge numbers with tanks and vehicles running in rows in front of and behind the animals. Hundreds of thousands of common people joined this `Urs, which continued for three days. It was also attended by a large number of heads of state and high military and civilian authorities both inside and outside the government who came by car and helicopter. The guiding representative took the pledge of allegiance from them all. By Allaah this abominable incident actually happened! We have never seen the like of it before. We are afraid that this is an indication that our Eemaan (faith) may be weak, as people always follow the way of their kings; or that our leaders reflect the level of our weak Eemaan. May Allaah forgive us for, verily, He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.

People are still building new graves here and there, and inviting others to these deviated celebrations. They call themto spend money on such things, and encourage and warn them with false stories about the majesty and greatness of the deceased or the Waliy (pious man). Thus, cars and processions stand beside the graves and people simply throw money there or greet the deceased. Consequently, these graves have turned into sources of making money, we seek refuge with Allah from that.

Please give us a detailed Fatwaa regarding all these things in the light of the Book of Allaah, the Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet), and the Ijmaa` (consensus) of the Muslim scholars, so as to clear away misconceptions. Success is only from Allaah (Exalted be He). We put our trust in Allaah and ask Him to protect us from bad deeds, Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship), and Bid`ah (innovation in religion). We ask Allaah to help us to worship Him alone and follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). May He guide the Muslims, especially those in our country, Bangladesh and in all other Muslim countries. Our Eemaan is weak and many of us cannot resist the temptations of this world. Please tell us about our duties concerning the religious crisis mentioned above. Your Fatwaa is very important. Please answer us soon because the Kuffaar (disbelievers) and devils are very quick towards Kufr (disbelief), Shirk, and Bid`ah, while we are heedless of these dangers! May Allaah forgive us all.

Answer: All the things mentioned in the question are undoubtedly practices of Munkar (that which is unacceptable or disapproved of by Islaamic law and Muslims of sound intellect), Bid`ah, and deviation… read more here.

Ibn Al-Qayyim’s stance on traveling to Al-Khaleel’s grave and claiming the Hell-fire will eventually vanish

Question: Is the report that Al-Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim disapproved of traveling on a pilgrimage to the grave of Prophet Ibraaheem (Abraham, peace be upon him) authentic? In which of his books can this statement be found? Is it permissible to travel to the grave of Prophet Ibraaheem? If so, what is the evidence that supports this? Did Ibn Al-Qayyim say that Hellfire is not eternal? In which of his books can this statement be found?

Answer: First: it is impermissible to set out on a journey except for the three Masaajid (mosques): [Al-Masjid Al-Haram (the Sacred Mosque), Al-Masjid Al-Nabawee (the Prophet’s Mosque), and Al-Masjid Al-Aqsaa (in Jerusalem)], as the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated… read more here.

Visiting the graves of righteous people, slaughtering for them and supplicating to them

Question: What is the ruling of Sharee‘ah (Islaamic law) on visiting the graves of pious people. When a man travels to the grave of a pious person, accompanied by his family and relatives, among which are women, they take a ewe with them to slaughter near the grave, then they serve food, eat, drink, and stay by the graveside for a whole day or part of a day, and sometimes until early morning. The grave is 20 km, more or less, away from the house. They also give some of the meat to their friends and relatives who live in another area, as a gift or Sadaqah (voluntary charity). Although people know that the Name of Allaah was mentioned on slaughtering the animal, some of them say that this meat is as Haraam (prohibited) as eating pork. However, Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: So eat of that (meat) on which Allaah’s Name has been pronounced (while slaughtering the animal) The purpose of this journey, from its beginning to its end, is only to approach Allaah through visiting the grave of this pious man and supplicating there, seeking his blessings, and seeking to draw close to Allaah (Tawassul) through him. When a dispute arises between two people, they take oaths at the grave of this pious man. People also hold an annual commemoration of his birthday at his grave. It is also one of our customs that, when one of us becomes sick, we go to the graves of pious people, or if one of us becomes mentally ill or seriously ill, our relatives take us to the graves of pious people. Sometimes the people are cured of their physical or mental illness due to the visit they pay to the graves of the righteous. What is the Islaamic ruling on this? Please enlighten us, may Allaah be merciful to you.

Answer: Firstly, it is not permissible to undertake a journey to visit graves because the Prophet (peace be upon him) instructed, saying: No journey should be made except to three Masaajid (mosques): This Masjid of mine (Al-Masjid Al-Nabawee in Madeenah), Al-Masjid Al-Haram (the Sacred Mosque in Makkah), and Al-Masjid Al-Aqsaa (the Aqsaa Mosque in Jerusalem).read more here.

Pilgrims visiting the Prophet’s grave and Al-Baqee`

Question: Are pilgrims whether men or women required to visit the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him), Al-Baqee` (the graveyard of Madeenah, near the Prophet’s Mosque), Uhud (mountain site of the Battle of Uhud [3 A.H./625 A.D.] the second battle between Muslims and the disbelievers of Makkah), and Quba’ (a town near Madeenah where the Prophet established the first mosque)? Or is that for men only?

Answer: Pilgrims whether men or women are not required to visit the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him) or Al-Baqee`. One should not undertake a journey to visit graves. Moreover, it is forbidden for women to visit graves even without undertaking journeys. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said.. read more here.

Visiting and praying in the Prophet’s Mosque

Question: I was born in 13/4/1903 A.D.; I am now eighty years old, but Allaah has not willed it for me yet during this lifetime to visit the Honored Ka`bah or the Prophet’s Mosque. Out of my love for the Prophet (peace be upon him), I invoke Allaah’s blessings upon him day and night. I see him often in my dreams and the last was today. Today I only felt that I wanted to disclose this. I have a simple home and I am blessed with only one daughter and her orphaned child. They live with me to take care of me. I live on a modest income and I yearn so much to visit the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him). Should I sell this house to enjoy visiting the beloved Prophet?

Answer: First, we hope that your dreams be good dreams that come true… read more here.

Traveling to visit the graves of the prophets, righteous people, and others

Question: Is it permissible to intend to undertake a journey to visit the graves of prophets and righteous peopleas the grave of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and others? Is this a Shar`ee (Islaamically lawful) visit or not?

Answer: It is not permissible to undertake journeys to visit graves of the prophets, righteous people and others. Doing so is a Bid`ah (innovation in religion). The evidence for this is the Hadeeth of the Prophet (peace be upon him)… read more here.

Traveling to Madeenah to pray in Al-Masjid Al-Nabawee

Question: Is it permissible for someone to travel to visit Al-Masjid Al-Nabawee (the Prophet’s Noble Mosque) in Al-Madeenah Al-Munawwarah while living in Makkah?

Answer: It is permissible for Muslims to travel to Al-Madeenah to perform Salaah (Prayer) at Al-Masjid Al-Nabawee. In fact, doing so is Mustahab (recommended) as the performance of one Salaah in it is better than a thousand Salaahs elsewhere with the exception of Al-Masjid Al-Haram (the Sacred Mosque)… read more here.

Ruling on visiting Al-Masjid Al-Nabawee

Question: After performing the enjoined duty of Hajj, many women travel to Al-Madeenah Al-Munawwarah to visit Al-Masjid Al-Nabaweee (the Prophet’s Mosque in Madeenah) and the grave of the Messenger (peace be upon him). Is it obligatory for women to visit both Al-Masjid Al-Nabawee and the grave of the Messenger (peace be upon him), or to visit just one of them? Or it is not obligatory for them to visit either of them? Please advise us on this matter!

Answer: It is not obligatory for men or women to visit Al-Masjid Al-Nabawee. It is only Sunnah (a commendable act) to perform Salaah there and it is permissible to undertake a special journey to do so… read more here.

Making the Prophet’s grave a place visited daily

Question: Sometimes I am entrusted with certain jobs in Al-Haram al-Nabawee (the Prophet’s Mosque in Madeenah), where I am to carry out my service in front of the fence around the room of the Prophet’s grave. My duty is to prevent visitors from touching and seeking blessings from the Prophet’s grave. Upon entering Al-Haram Al-Nabawee, I usually offer Tahiyyat Al-Masjid (two-unit Prayer to salute the mosque) and then start my work in front of the Prophet’s grave. Before starting my job, I invoke blessings upon the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his two Companions (i.e. Aboo Bakr and `Umar, may Allaah be pleased with them both). One of my colleagues told me that this deed is not permissible and that the Prophet (peace be upon him) has forbidden making his grave a frequently visited place. Therefore, invoking blessings upon the Prophet and his two Companions daily is impermissible. My question is what is the ruling on me doing this? May Allaah grant you success and blessings.

Answer: It is impermissible to make the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him) a place which people should visit daily, weekly or monthly. This act may involve making his grave a place visited often and regularly which is forbidden… read more here.

The vision attributed to the attendant of the Prophet’s grave

Question: This question is about some advice that came from Makkah, from Haajjee `Abdullaah ibn Mustafaa, who said, “I was sleeping when I saw the Messenger (peace be upon him) who commanded me to convey this message to all Muslims that they should believe and cooperate with one another. Anyone who reads this message should write it eight times; those who do not spread it will be punished by illness, but those who do spread it will rejoice after ten days. If any one writes to refute this, they will be punished by dying as a Kaafir (disbeliever).” Is this true or is it a lie? Also, what is the ruling on people who visit the domes built over graves, bringing with them some chickens or sheep to slaughter near the shrine of a dead person, saying: “This deceased person is a saint.”? Is this Haraam (unlawful) or Halaal (lawful)?

Answer: Firstly: This is a false Ru’yaa (vision) and a baseless story, and is of the same type of the fabricated vision that was once attributed to the attendant of the Prophet’s grave… read more here.

Wiping one’s body on the walls of the Prophet’s grave while visiting it?

Question 328: What is the ruling on wiping the walls and the steel bars of the grave of the Prophet while visiting it?

Answer: Upon visiting the Prophet’s grave (peace be upon him), it is recommended to send peace on him and his two Companions Aboo Bakr and `Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them). This was the practice of the Sahaabah (companions of the Prophet), Taabi`oon (the generation after the Companions of the Prophet), the next generation of the best centuries and those who adopted their way. As for wiping the walls and the steel bars of the windows of the room where he was buried, it is a Bidd`ah (innovation in Islaam) and one of the means to Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship). A Muslim must abandon this prohibited practice and warn others against it... read more here.