What is the ruling on offering Salaah in a Masjid where there is a grave?

Question 318: If there is a grave in the backyard of a Masjid (mosque) with a wall in between, is it permissible to perform Salaah in that Masjid? Is performing Salaah there valid or not? What is the legal ruling on a person who swears by other than Allaah such as the Prophet or Al-Amaanah (Honesty)?

Answer: It is invalid to offer Salaah in any Masjid where there is a grave. The Prophet (peace be upon him) is quoted to have prohibited to take graves as Masjids. The prohibition indicates that it is not permissible to perform Salaah there whether a building was established upon it or not, or if the grave is attached and connected directly to the Masjid or the Masjid is built for its sake. However, in case the Masjid is separated from the grave with a street or a passage for example, there will be no harm to pray therein. It is not permissible to swear by other than Allaah (Glorified be He), neither by the Prophet (peace be upon him) or anyone else because the Prophet stated: Anyone who swears by other than Allaah has committed a disbelief or has associated others with Allaah.... read more here.

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Ruling on building a Masjid over a grave

Question 317: Is it permissible to build a Masjid (mosque) over a grave out of necessity? Is it permissible to build a Masjid in the graveyard after exhuming the bodies? Is it permissible to install pillars in the grave, while leaving the first floor empty and building the Masjid on the second floor?

Answer: It is not permissible to build a Masjid over graves or exhume the dead to raise a Masjid in their places. The graves have a greater right to the site where they were built, and Muslims must look for another place to build the Masjid. Similarly, it is not permissible to install pillars in the graves or build over them, whether the building is a Masjid or whatsoever. Masjids are not to be built over graves, and the dead must not be disturbed. Furthermore, performing prayers in such Masjids leads people to associate its dwellers as partners with Allaah and exaggerate their status. Therefore, it was authentically reported from Allaah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) that he stated... read more here.

Installing pillars over graves and building over them

Question 316: Is it permissible to build a Masjid (mosque) over a grave out of necessity? Is it permissible to build a Masjid in the graveyard after exhuming the bodies? Is it permissible to install pillars in the grave, while leaving the first floor empty and building the Masjid on the second floor?

Answer: It is not permissible to build a Masjid over graves or exhume the dead to raise a Masjid in their places. The graves have a greater right to the site where they were built, and Muslims must look for another place to build the Masjid. Similarly, it is not permissible to install pillars in the graves or build over them, whether the building is a Masjid or whatsoever. Masjids are not to be built over graves, and the dead must not be disturbed. Furthermore, performing prayers in such Masjids leads people to associate its dwellers as partners with Allaah and exaggerate their status. Therefore, it was authentically reported from Allaah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) that he stated... read more here.

Building a room over the graves of the Awliyaa’ for offering Salaah?

Question 315: In Yemen large graves were built for some Awliyaa’ (pious people) and rooms were built over these graves with domes like those of Masjids (Mosque) attached over them. These Masjid-like rooms are dedicated by people for offering Salaah (Prayer). What is the ruling on that?

Answer: It is not permissible to build Masjids over graves, because this is a means leading to Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship). It is even more emphatically prohibited to offer Salaah at the graves, whether in places built over them or not, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade this. It leads to people calling upon the dead, seeking help and blessing from their graves. This is major Shirk which takes a person out of Islaam. Accordingly, it is not permissible to offer Salaah in such places, and rooms built over graves should be demolished, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) instructed `Alee (may Allaah be pleased with him) Leave not a raised grave unleveled.... read more here.

Ruling on building a dome over a grave

Question 314: I have a neighbour whose father died about ten years ago. At that time, he did not know that building on the graves is not permissible; therefore, he built a shrine for his father, and people began visiting this shrine and offering sacrifices at it. This evil custom that is based on a corrupt `Aqeedah (creed) has been halted, and I advised him (the son) to destroy the shrine, but he refuses thinking this represents undutifulness to his father. What is your advice in this regard? It should be mentioned that people there have weak Eemaan (Faith) and are illiterate, so if this building remains, it will lead to further spread of corrupt beliefs. Please guide us to the ruling on this and how to destroy this building, and whether or not there are certain Adkaar (invocations) or Qur’aan to be recited before demolishing the shrine to ward off any Satan in the grave. May Allaah reward you!

Answer: The building constructed on the grave of your neighbour’s father must be demolished, and this does not imply any undutifulness to him. Building over graves is prohibited as it is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) instructed `Alee (may Allaah be pleased with him) Do not leave a raised grave without leveling it. Let your neighbor seek Allaah’s Support and demolish the building constructed over the grave. And let him never fear Satan or any thing else, for these are illusions thrown by Iblees (Satan) in the heart to undermine one’s determination to refute evil... read more here.

Students staying for a week by the shrine reciting the Qur’aan

Question 210: We are a group of people who memorize the Qur’aan; we meet every year on the day of the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday) in the shrine of a Waliy (a pious person), where an annual celebration is held, in which children are circumcised and people offer Sadaqah (voluntary charity) to students, whether in the form of money or supplies. After the people go away, the students collect the money, each according to their standard and generosity, and hold an auction to sell the items given to them as Sadaqah. For instance, one of them asks the others, “What have you put in this piece of cloth?” They reply, “We have put health, wealth, obedience of children, etc.” Thus, this old piece of cloth is sold for many times its original price. This money is used to buy animals to be sacrificed in the shrine. The students stay in the shrine for a week, reciting the Qur’aan many times every night,and offering Salaah inside the shrine, given that the shrine is inside the chamber, and the chamber is inside the graveyard. What is the ruling on such a deed? Is it a means to become closer to Allaah or is it groundless in Sharee`ah? Please advise, may Allaah reward you!

Answer: First, Muhammad (peace be upon him) is our beloved Prophet; the most pre-eminent among the descendants of Adam; the last of prophets; the Messenger sent to all the people; and the first one to make Shafaa`ah (intercession) on the Day of Judgment. However, celebrating his Mawlid is a Bid`ah (innovation in religion), as neither he (peace be upon him) nor the Rightly-Guided Caliphs or the rest of his Sahaabah (Companions) did it, although they were the people who knew his Sharee`ah the most, the believers who loved him most, and they were keen on following and honoring him. If celebrating the Mawlid had been permissible, they would have done it. This was not authentically reported from him (peace be upon him) or from them; it is considered an innovated Bidd`ah. It was authentically reported that he (peace be upon him) said, If a person innovates things in our affairs for which there is no valid reason, these are to be rejected. Narrated by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim. Doing this in the shrine of a righteous person makes this Bidd`ah even more rejected and exceeding the limits in honoring the righteous people, which is considered evident falsehood... read more here.

Performing Salaah inside the shrine in the chamber built in the graveyard

Question 208: We are a group of people who memorize the Qur’aan; we meet every year on the day of the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday) in the shrine of a Waliy (a pious person), where an annual celebration is held, in which children are circumcised and people offer Sadaqah (voluntary charity) to students, whether in the form of money or supplies. After the people go away, the students collect the money, each according to their standard and generosity, and hold an auction to sell the items given to them as Sadaqah. For instance, one of them asks the others, “What have you put in this piece of cloth?” They reply, “We have put health, wealth, obedience of children, etc.” Thus, this old piece of cloth is sold for many times its original price. This money is used to buy animals to be sacrificed in the shrine. The students stay in the shrine for a week, reciting the Qur’aan many times every night,and offering Salaah inside the shrine, given that the shrine is inside the chamber, and the chamber is inside the graveyard. What is the ruling on such a deed? Is it a means to become closer to Allaah or is it groundless in Sharee`ah? Please advise, may Allaah reward you!

Answer: First, Muhammad (peace be upon him) is our beloved Prophet; the most pre-eminent among the descendants of Adam; the last of prophets; the Messenger sent to all the people; and the first one to make Shafaa`ah (intercession) on the Day of Judgment. However, celebrating his Mawlid is a Bid`ah (innovation in religion), as neither he (peace be upon him) nor the Rightly-Guided Caliphs or the rest of his Sahaabah (Companions) did it, although they were the people who knew his Sharee`ah the most, the believers who loved him most, and they were keen on following and honoring him. If celebrating the Mawlid had been permissible, they would have done it. This was not authentically reported from him (peace be upon him) or from them; it is considered an innovated Bidd`ah. It was authentically reported that he (peace be upon him) said, If a person innovates things in our affairs for which there is no valid reason, these are to be rejected. Narrated by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim. Doing this in the shrine of a righteous person makes this Bidd`ah even more rejected and exceeding the limits in honoring the righteous people, which is considered evident falsehood... read more here.

Transporting a person to a shrine where they will circumambulate

Question 57: What is the ruling on whoever transports a Mushrik (one who associates others with Allaah in worship) to shrines or to attend banquets? Are they also Mushrik? Or are they sinners who commit a sin un-willingly especially if they are ordered to do so by their father or mother and if they do not comply parents will get angry?

Answer: It is not permissible to transport anyone who intends to visit these shrines or to attend a banquet that is prepared for that shrine. Doing so is tantamount to committing a sin as this is a kind of cooperation in evil and aggression even though those who want to go there are one’s parents… read more here.

Swearing by a shrine or a shaykh

Question 51: Many people here in Sudan swear by shaykhs and shrines. This may also happen inside the Shar‘ee (Islaamic legal) courts, because when the judge asks the defendant to swear on the Qur’aan, they, without hesitation, make a false oath. However, if the judge asks them to swear by a shrine, they abstain from swearing and confess their guilt, believing that swearing by the shrine can cause harm, because in their view shrines can cause harm or benefit. What is the ruling on this act and is it permissible for a judge to ask someone to swear by a shaykh or a shrine?

One of the scholars even gave us a Fatwaa that it is permissible to swear by a shrine instead of the Qur’aan. He argued that it is permissible to do so to restore the right of a wronged person if necessity called for it. To what degree is this Fatwaa correct?

We hope that you will explain this with evidence, and may Allaah reward you for your efforts in helping Muslims!

Answer: It is Haraam (prohibited) to swear by a shrine or a shaykh. It is also unlawful for a judge to ask someone to swear by them, based on what is authentically reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him), who said… read more here.