People who worship at graves
Fatwa No: 85126

Question

I have so many Indian friends in Oman some of my friends on leave to India, visit graves in India called Mazar, offer prayers, asking for help, health, money and so many other things from the dead person. When we tell them not to do this; it is one of the biggest form of Shirk, they simply reply, "You are Wahabi" and do not accept our suggestion. Why do they say, "You are Wahabi"? What should we do to change these people?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

Dear Brother!

You have to explain to your friends that building Mazar (shrines) over and around graves is completely banned by the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). The scholars of Islam before Muhammad Ibn 'Abdul Wahhab stated the unlawfulness of such a deed.

Then, dear brother, you have to tell them that a Muslim has to accept what is right since truth is known by evidence and not by one who tells it.

Also, you are to explain to them that a Muslim has to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and not innovations of the people. There is no doubt that building Mazar contradicts the Prophetic guidance, the righteous predecessors and scholars of Islam. 

In this vein, Ibn al-Qayyim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) was used (while visiting graves of his companions) to supplicating for them, seeking Allah's Mercy and pardon for them. This is the Sunnah in visiting graves. He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) ordered visitors of graves to say: “O dwellers of Muslims and believers! Peace be upon you. We will (Allah willing) die and be like you. We ask Allah to grant you and us safety and a good end." [Muslim] Then, Ibn al-Qayyim strictly disapproved actions of visitors who seek help from the dead or pray to them. He said: “It was the Prophetic guidance to seek Allah's Mercy and Forgiveness for the dead and to supplicate for them as he did in the funeral prayer. But, polytheists prefer polytheism to monotheism and pray to the dead seeking their help, taking them as mediators. This is contradictory to the Prophetic guidance, the guidance of monotheism. Polytheists pray to the dead and seek their help or they take the dead as mediators, believing that it is better and more required to use them than supplication in mosques. A person who carefully considers the Prophetic guidance, will see and discern the difference.

In addition, you have to explain to your friends the aim of visiting Mazar: To follow the Prophetic guidance or to do as Ibn al-Qayyim explained about polytheists!

So, if the goal is to seek the dead's help, then this visit is strictly forbidden, since this constitutes a form of polytheism or innovation and misguidance. If one's visit is just for uttering peace and seeking Allah's Help and Pardon for them, then one has to know that it is his duty to change the evil deeds of others, such as supplicating to the dead for help. Thus, innovators may attack such a righteous visitor who wants to enjoin good and forbid evil. So, it is not permitted to visit these places due to being a source of harm to righteous people, and those who keep silent will be considered sinful.

Allah Says (what means): {And it has already been revealed to you in the Book (this Quran) that when you hear the Verses of Allah 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, Allah will collect the hypocrites and disbelievers all together in Hell.} [Quran 4: 140]

Finally, a just person, without a doubt, believes that such shrines are innovations, since each and every innovation is to be rejected. This, in fact, was not the guidance of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) nor his companions or Imams of Islam. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Whoever performs an act which is not in accordance with ours [our religion], it will be rejected from him.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Allah Knows best.

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