Praying Jumu'ah in Mosque with a tomb
Fatwa No: 84665

  • Fatwa Date:14-8-2002 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 6, 1423
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Question

My apologies for asking this question once again. It is because that I need a little more clarification. For your valuable answer concerning the performance of Salat in Masjid (s) with tombs inside. What should one do in the case of performing the obligatory Jumu'ah Prayers in a Masjid with a tomb? I work in a town that has only one Masjid which has a tomb in it. Can I perform Jumu'ah prayers in this Masjid since there is no other alternative, or should I perform Zuhr prayers in my work place instead? Your valuable answer will be much appreciated.

Answer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the World; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

First, building mosques on graves is strictly forbidden, like as it is forbidden to bury a person in a mosque. Ayisha (Radiya Allahu Anha) reported from the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) that he said: "Allah Cursed the Jews and the Christians because they made of the graves of their Prophets places of worship" [Reported by Imams al-Bukhari and Muslim ].
It is reported in Sahih Muslim from Jundub bin Abdullah that he said: "I heard from the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) five days before his death and he said: 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" .
Ayisha (Radiya Allahu Anha) said: " Um Salamah told Allah's Apostle about a church which she had seen in Ethiopia and which was called Mariya . She told him about the pictures which she had seen in it. Allah's Apostle said, "If any righteous pious man dies amongst them, they would build a place of worship at his grave and make these pictures in it; they are the worst creatures in the sight of Allah"
Building mosques on graves is forbidden and it is even among the major sins as confirmed by some scholars. Ibn Hajar al-Haitami wrote in his book "al-Zawajer An Iqtiraf al-Kabair" while stating the major sins: 'To build mosques on graves, to light them, to make them idols, to make circumambulation around them, to touch them and to offer prayers facing them (instead of the Qiblah) are among the major sins' .
Second, Islam does not approve of a mosque with a grave. So the one of them that was built first should remain and the other removed. Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: 'all the Imams have agreed upon that a mosque should not be built on a grave for the above Hadith of Jundub and that burial in a mosque is also forbidden. If a mosque is built first, afterwards a grave is built in the same place then the grave should be eliminated, leveling it to the ground or exhuming it if it is new. If a mosque is built after the grave then either the mosque or the grave should be removed. Performing obligatory or voluntary prayers in a mosque built on a grave is forbidden' .
Third, try your best to exhume the bones of the buried person and bury them in a common graveyard of Muslims; otherwise, try to build another mosque.
Fourth, if removing the grave from the mosque is not possible, or it takes too much time then you may perform prayers in such a mosque, provided no form of Shirk is performed near that grave, like circumambulation, vows, making supplication from the dead person or seeking help from him. If such acts are performed there then performing prayer is forbidden. Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {And it has already been revealed to you in the Book (this Qur'ân) that when you hear the Verses of Allâh being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage in a talk other than that; (but if you stayed with them) certainly in that case you would be like them. Surely, Allâh will collect the hypocrites and disbelievers all together in Hell,} [4: 140].
Know that sitting in a place where evil is practiced is not allowed, since whoever sits there voluntarily, without forbidding such practice, is actually sharing in that act. In such case, you may perform the prayer anywhere in the earth.
Allah knows best.

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