Constructing domes over the burial places of saints | Ja-Al Haq (Beliefs of AhleSunnah) |

There are two types of Muslims,
1. The general and lay-body Mu’mins.
2. The Ulama, Mashaaikh of the Friends (Auliya) of Allahعزوجل whose respect and reverence is, in fact, respect towards Islam
To reinforce the graves of the general Mu’mins and build domes over them, etc. is prohibited because doing so has no benefit or reason. Yes, sand, etc. should continuously be placed on them to shape and preserve their recognition so that Fatiha, etc. can be made there. This is permissible.
Concerning the graves of the Friends (Auliya) of Allahعزوجل which are visited by crowds of people who sit around the blessed grave of the Wali to recite Quran, make Fatiha, etc.,: to build a structure around the grave or dome, etc. for the visitor’s convenience and ease and to demonstrate the grandeur of the Saint is permissible according to the Shariah. In fact, it is proven from the Sunnah of the Sahaaba. On the contrary, to build domes over the graves of the lay-Mu’mins which have been made durable is prohibited. If their graves have already been strengthened, it is not allowed to tear down its reinforcement. The first rule is agreed upon by all, but there is division regarding the other two. Thus, we present this discussion in two chapters – the first containing proof of our stance and the second answering the objections.
There are three circumstances at this point,
1. Reinforcing the grave itself.
2. Increasing the height of the watt’s Qabr moderately, according to Sunnat.
3. Constructing a building around the Qabr.
Thereafter, there are two circumstances related to reinforcing the grave itself,
1. Reinforcing the interior portion the grave, i.e. the part that is joined to the body.
2. Reinforcing the exterior, i.e. the part that is visible.
Only baked and whole bricks may be used to reinforce the inner part of the grave.
Using sticks here is prohibited. Yes, if stones or cement is used to strengthen it, it is permissible because sticks and bricks have the effect of fire. To strengthen the outer portion of the grave for general Muslims is prohibited, but doing so for the Ulama and Mashaaikh especially, is permissible.
It is also allowed to extend the hump of tile grave to the length of more than one hand. Also, if the casing around the Qabr is extended and the hump of the Qabr remains at one hand’s length, it is permissible.
Constructing an edifice around or near the Qabrs of general Muslims is impermissible, but doing so around the graves of the Jurists (Fuqahaa) and Ulama (Learned) isn’t. Proof of this follows,
1. When Hadrat Uthman ibn Mazoon رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ was buried, the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم placed a stone on the head-side of the grave and said, “With this, we place the recognition of our brother’s grave and shall bury the deceased of our family here.” 12.1 – Mishkaat, Kttaabul-Janaatz, Baabud-Dafn with reference to Abu Dawood
2. Hadrat Khaarija رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, “We were present in the time of Uthmane. The most successful jumper from us was the person who was able to leap across the grave of Uthman ibn Mazoon رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ 12.2 – Bukhari, Kitaabul­Janaaiz, Baabul-Jareed alal-Qabr, narrated as a note (taaleeq)
We know from the narration in Mishkaat Sharif that there was a stone on the head-side of Hadrat Uthman ibn Mas’un’s رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ grave and, from this Hadith of Bukhari, it’s known that the hump of his grave was that stone. Consistency between these two narrations can be made through the following – “A stone was placed at the head-side of the grave” doesn’t mean that it was placed near the head, separate from the grave, but that it was placed in the grave itself at the head-side. It could also mean that the entire grave was of that stone (but only the head-side was mentioned). Both of these Ahadith prove that to preserve the recognition of a certain grave by making it a little high or strengthening it with stones, etc. is permissible. This is so that people realize that this is the grave of a Buzurg. The two rules are cleared through this. Also, the Fuqahaa state that if the piece of earth is soft and the deceased has to be buried in a box of wood, the inner area of the grave should have sand spread within in all four directions. ­Shaami, Alamgbiri, etc. Baabu-Dajni-Mayyit
We can also deduce from this that the interior of the grave shouldn’t be solid. Two rules are hereby proven.
3. To construct a building, shelter or edifice around the graves of the Friends of Allah and Mashaaikh of Ulama or nearby is proven to be permissible from the Quran and practice and rulings of the Sahaaba, Ulama and general body of Muslims.
Narrating the incident of the People of the Cave [Ashaab-e-Kahf), the Holy Quran states, “The person who was dominant in this matter said, “We shall build a Musjid over the People of the Cave.” 12,3 – Surah Kah[. Verse 21
Under the Bunyaanan of this ayat, Tafseer Roohul-Bayaan states, “They said, “Build for the People of the Cave a wall that surrounds their graves so that it is safe from the knowledge of people, just as how the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم grave is surrounded by four walls.” 12.
This was not sanctioned, however, and so a Musjid was built. Under the commentary of Musjidaa in this ayat, Allama Ismail Haqqi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes, “People can read namaaz in it and attain barkat through them.” 12.5 – Tafteer Roohul-Bayaan
The Holy Quran mentioned two things about the People of the Cave. The first was that people planned to build a dome and edifice around them, and the second was that a Musjid was built nearby. After mentioning these plans, it didn’t censor any of them. This establishes that both actions were allowed then and is still permissible, as proven from the books of Principles (Usool).
Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم was buried in the apartment (hujra) of Sayyidah Aisha رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہا .If this was not allowed, the Sahaaba should’ve first tom down the walls and then buried him. Hadrat Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہlater constructed an arched wall with ‘half-baked bricks around this area during the period of his Khilaafat. Some time later, in the time of Waleed ibn Abdul-Malik, Hadrat Abdullah ibn Zubair رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ strengthened and supported this edifice solidly in the presence of all the Sahaaba. Allama Sayyid Samboodi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes) “عن عمرو ابن دینار و عبیداللہ ابن ابی زید قال لم یکن فی عھد النبی صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم علی بیت النبی علیہ السلام جدار فکان اول من بنی علیہ جدارا عمر ابن الخطاب ثم بناہ عبداللہ ابن الزبیر فکانت حجرتہ من الکعسۃ من سعیر مربوطۃ فی خشب عرعرۃ” – Khuloasaatul­Wafaa. Section 10. Pg. 196
The translation of this extract is what has been said above. Hadrat Urwah رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states that in the time of Waleed ibn Abdul-Malik, a wall of the Rauza Sharif of the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم fell down and the Sahaaba busied themselves in repairing it. A foot was visible and, after seeing it, people became concerned because they thought that it belonged to the Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. Hadrat Urwah رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ said, “Oath on Allahعزوجل! This is not the foot of the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. It is the foot of Umar ” 12.6-Bukhari, Vol. 1, Kitaabul-Janaaiz, Baabu Maa Ja ‘a fi-Qabri Nabi صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم.
Shaikh Abdul-Haqq Muhaddith Dehlwi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes, “In the year 550 A.H, Jamaaluddin Asfahaani رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ put a lattice made of sandalwood around this wall in the presence of the Ulama (Learned). Later, in 557 A.H, some Christians came to Madina Sharif in the garb of pious people and planned to dig a tunnel and remove the blessed body of Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم from his Rauza Sharif. The Messenger came to the king in a dream three times and informed him of their sinister plan. As a result, the king executed them, dug a very deep foundation around the Rauza Sharif and filled it with lead. In 678 A.H, Sultan Saalihi built this green dome which is present until today.” -Jazbul-Quloob ilaa Diyaaril-Mahboob


These extracts prove that the Sahaaba built the Rauza Sharif. If someone says, “This is unique to the Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم we reply that Hadrat Abu Bakr رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ and Hadrat Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ are both buried in the Rauza Sharif, and so will Hadrat Esa علیہ السلام be buried there as well. Thus, it is not a specialty of Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم B. When Hadrat Imam Hasan ibn Hasan ibn Ali رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ passed away, his wife kept a dome over his grave for the entire year.” – Bukhart, Vol. 1, Kitaabul-Janaaiz and Mishkaat, Baabul-Bukoa alal-Mayyit
This also occurred during the time of the Sahaaba and in their presence. None of them rejected this. Also, his wife remained at the grave for an entire year and thereafter returned home, proving the permissibility of attendants (Mujaawars) at the graves of the Pious.
We have, until now, only presented proof from the Quran and Hadith. Now, we provide proof from the rulings of the Jurists and Commentators of the Quran and Hadith.
Under the ayat, “انما یعمر مسجداللہ من امن باللہ” 12.8 Tafseer Roohul-Bayaan states, “Constructing buildings on the graves of the Learned (Ulama), Saints and Honored is a permissible action when the intention behind doing so is to inculcate the recognition of greatness and appreciation in the hearts of people. This is so that they don’t disregard the people of these graves.” 12.9
Mulla Ali Qaari رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes, ‘The former Ulama have permitted the building of edifices on the graves of the Mashaaikh and Ulama so that people may visit them and sit or rest there,”12.10 – Mirqaat, Kitaabul-Janaaiz, Baabu Dafnil-Mayyit
When Hadrat Uthman ibn Mazoon رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ was buried, the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلمplaced a stone on the head-side of the grave and said, “With this, we place the recognition of our brother’s grave and shall bury the deceased of our family here.”
– Mishkaat Sharif
Shaikh Abdul-Haqq Muhaddith Dehlwi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes, “In the latter times, due to the general masses being very perceptive to visible things, the construction of buildings on the graves of the Mashaaikh and pious people increased based on wisdom. This is so that the honour and rank of the Saints become apparent to the Muslims, especially in India, as many KufTaar and enemies of the deen are found here. These buildings and places proclaim the glory of the Friends of Allahعزوجل and are a means of instilling awe within the hearts of the KufTaar. There are many things which were Makrooh but have become preferred (Mustahab) in the latter times.” – Sharah Safrus-Sa’adat
Shaami states, “If the deceased is from the Mashaaikh, Ulama and Sa’adat, to build an edifice over his grave is not Makrooh.” 12.11 – Vol. 1, Baabud-Dafn
Durre-Mukhtaar states, “A building shouldn’t be built on a grave, but it has been said that there is nothing wrong with this and that the latter ruling is accepted.” 12.12 _ Baabud-Dafn
Some people say that Shaami and Durre-Mukhtaar have permitted these buildings using the word ‘Qeel’. Thus, this ruling is weak and defective. This is incorrect. ‘Qeel’ is not a sign of weakness in Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh). In some places, there are two opinions stated about a single query and both have been explained through ‘Qeel’. Yes, ‘Qeeli’ is the recognition of defectiveness in the Science of Logic (Mentiq). Refer to the discussion on the Azaan at the Grave for a complete study into ‘Qeel’.
Tahtaawi alaa-Maraaqil-Falah states, “The people of Egypt have the habit of placing stones on the graves so that they are saved from being effaced and disentombed. A grave shouldn’t be plastered or mortared and no building should be built over it.
However, it has been said that there is nothing wrong with doing so and this is the accepted ruling.”12.13 – Pg. 335
Imam Sha’raani رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, “It is based on this that other Imams say that a building shouldn’t be built on a grave nor should it be plastered, even though the ruling of Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ is, “All of these things are permissible.” So, the former sayings have hardship and the latter one has ease:’ 12.14 – Meezaan-e-­Kubra, Vol.1, Kitaabul-Janaaiz
It has now been absolutely proven that according to the Imam of the muzhab himself (Imam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, building domes, etc. over the graves is permissible.
Alhamdulillah, it has now been established through the Quran, Hadith, extracts of Fiqh and Imam Abu Hanifa that building domes, etc. over the graves of the Saints and Learned is permissible. Rationally speaking, this should also be allowed:
Firstly, it has been noticed that the public do not have concentrated respect for general graves which are not reinforced. Not much of Fatiha -and dua is made there.
In fact, some even tread over them! On the contrary, if they had to see a strengthened grave or a grave with a covering (ghilaaf) over it, they would realize that this is the grave of a Buzurg and respectfully pass it with their hands lifting up in dua very quickly. It has been stated that the life of a Muslim before and after his death are the same (i.e. they should be respected equally). – Mishkaat, Baabud-Dafn and Mirqaat
To kiss the graves of your parents is permissible. – Alamghiri, Kitaabul­-Karaahiyat and Ashiatul-Lam’aat, Baabud-Dafn
Likewise, the Jurists state that we should sit away from the grave equal to the distance we used to sit away from the person of the grave during his lifetime. This proves that the respect of the deceased is similar to the respect in his lifetime. The Friends of Allahعزوجل. are Necessary to be Respected (Waajibut­-Tazeem) in their lifetimes. Thus, after their passing away, revering them is also and still necessary.
Constructing an edifice over the graves is a means of demonstrating this respect. For that reason, it should at least be Mustahab (preferred).
Secondly, just as how the official buildings of the government are distinguished amongst all other buildings (as well as Musjids) for the sole reason of people recognizing and extracting benefit from them, so too should the Ulama distinguish themselves from others so that people may recognize them and enquire about deeni rulings. Likewise, the graves of the Ulama and Mashaaikh should also be distinguished from all other common graves so that people recognize and attain guidance from them.
Thirdly, the graves of the Saints are the signs of Allahعزوجل as we have previously proven with reference to Roohul-Bayaan. It is proven from the Quran that reverence to the signs of Allahعزوجل is necessary. Therefore, the graves should be respected. There are various methods and practices of respect in every country and throughout the passing of time. Whichever method of respect is not contrary to Islam is permissible. In. the time of the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم the Holy Quran used to be transcribed on bones and skin, the Mosque of the Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم” (Musjidun­Nabawi) was not strongly built and its roof was made of date-leaves. It leaked when it rained. However, the Musjid was later very beautifully renovated with the Rauza of Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم being carefully built (and the Holy Quran was printed on good-quality paper).
Durre-Mukhtaar states “و جاز نحلیۃ المصحف لما فیہ من تعظیمہ کما فی نقش المسجد” ­Kiiaabul-Karaahiyat, Fast fil-Ba’ee
Shaami states under this extract, “In other words, to embellish the Holy Quran with gold and silver is permissible because this is respectful to it, just as how it is permissible to decorate the Musjid. Furthermore, it was ordered in the time of the Sahaaba to keep the Quran free from Ayat numbering, Rukus and I’raab. However, after that period, it became permissible – in fact, necessary-due to the need of the time.” Shaami further states, “It has been narrated from Hadrat Ibn Mas’ud رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ that the Quran should be kept free from I’raab, etc. This applied to that era, and there are numerous other things which adapt due to the change of time and place.” 12.16


Shaami also states that the Holy Quean should not be printed in small text or in handwriting. Rather, its words should be visible and bold. Why have all of these instructions been given? For the respect of the Holy Quran. Similarly, in the former times, to take compensation for either teaching the Quran or saying the Azaan and Iqaamat was Haraam, as per the Hadith and extracts of Fiqh. However, doing so was permitted afterwards due to need being felt. In the time of Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم even the living were not allowed to reinforce their homes. One Sahaabi did, and this caused the Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم to become so angry that he didn’t even reply to his Salaam until the Sahaabi brought down the reinforcement. ­Mishkaat, Kitaabur-Riqaaq, Section 2
The Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم” said, “When blessings cease in a person’s wealth, he begins to spend it on putting up bricks.12.17 -Ibid
In spite of these rules, however, Muslims built their homes and Musjids strong. It’s indeed surprising that those who deem reinforcing the graves of the Friends of Allahعزوجل or constructing domes over them to be Haraam extravagantly plaster and cement their homes. Do they accept some Ahadith and reject others? May Allahعزوجلgrant them understanding.
Fourthly, supporting the graves of the Saints and constructing buildings around them is a means of propagating Islam. In Ajmer Sharif, etc. it has been noticed that there are more Kuffaar visitors to the site than Muslims. I have witnessed many Hindus and Shias embracing Islam after seeing the pomp and glory of Huzoor Khwaja Ghareeb Nawaazرضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ.
The newspapers of July 1960 persistently reported that the grave of Sayed Ahmed Barailwi (the Murshid of Maulwi Ismail Dehlwi), situated in Baalaakot, was in a very deplorable condition. It was going to be repaired with a dome built over it. How ironic that Sayed Ahmed, the person who spent his entire life destroying the graves of Muslims, will have a dome built over his own?
On July 29th 1960, the president of Pakistan, Ayyub Khan, laid the foundation of the structure to built on the grave of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. There were 100,000 Muslims present at this function and approximately Rs. 75,000 were spent on this construction. The function was also attended by the leader of the Deobandis, Maulwi Ihtishaarnul-Haqq, whose speech was recorded in the Rawalpindi newspaper Jung on August 12th, 1960. Expressing much happiness, he said, “Congradulations, O Father of the revolution! Today the foundation-stone for the monument of the founder of Pakistan’s grave has been placed. Until now, the Pakistani government was very slow in completing this blessed task.”
Muslims! This is the Deobandi fraternity who, until now, used to root out the graves of Muslims. They are the very people who sent a telegram to the Wahab if Najdi Government of Saudi Arabia congratulating them on destroying and ruining the graves of the Sahaaba and Able-Bait. Today, if a dome, etc. is being built on the grave of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, they honour the construction of the edifice. Who knows what their muzhab is? Their actions and rulings have no consistency at all. As if they go wherever the wind blows.
Nevertheless, it is proven from this that even Deobandis accept domes being built on the graves (Mazaars) of the Saints.
There are only two objections from the opposition concerning this,
OBJECTION1: “The Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم prohibited the plastering of graves, building structures and sitting on them.” 12.18 – Mishkaat, Baabud-Defn with reference to Muslim
Also the general body of Jurists state, “This Hadith proves that there are three things which are Haraam – reinforcing the grave, constructing a building over it and sitting at the grave as a caretaker (Mujaawar).”
Answer – There are three cases in the prohibition of strengthening a grave,
1. Strengthening the inner part (i.e. the portion that is touching the deceased). This is why the Hadith said ‘An-Yujassasa al-Quboora’, not ‘Alal-Quboor.’
2. Reinforcing the graves of lay-Muslims. This has no benefit. Thus, the meaning will now be taken as, “Strengthening every grave has been prohibited.”
3. Strengthening the grave for decoration, boastfulness and ceremony.
These three situations have been censored and are Haraam. However, if the grave of a Saint (Wali) is maintained to keep its recognition, irs permissible because the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم reinforced the grave of Hadrat Uthman ibn Mazoon رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ with stone, as we have proven in the first chapter.
Under ‘An-Yujassasa al-Quboor”, Lam’aat states, “….Because only decoration and ceremony is intended by this.” 12.20 This proves that if decoration, etc. is not intended, it is permissible.
”Building a structure on the grave” also has a few meanings,
[It is prohibited] If the building is made on the grave itself, in the manner that it becomes included in the building’s wall. Shaami states, “To increase the Qabr more than a hand’s length is prohibited because it is narrated in Muslim that the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم disallowed strengthening the grave or building something actually upon it.”12.21 – Baabud-Dafn
Durre-Mukhtaar states, “It is prohibited to put extra sand on the grave because this is equated to building a structure on the actual grave.” 12.22 – Baabud-Dafn
This establishes that “building on the Qabr” refers to when the grave itself becomes included in the construction. A dome is not built on the grave but over and around it. Thus, it is not prohibited.
2. This rule of prohibition is intended for the graves of lay-Muslims.
3. The ‘building’ mentioned here has been explained by another Hadith, “O Allahعزوجل! Do not make my grave become an idol that is worshipped. May Allah’sعزوجل curse be on the nation that makes the graves of their Prophets Musjids.12.23-Mishkaat, Baabul-Masaajid
This proves that it is Haraam to alter any grave to be a Musjid, construct a building on it and performing namaaz in its direction. This is what is intended by the Hadith. The meaning of “make the graves Musjids” refers to when the graves themselves were made the Qibla and Sajda was performed towards them.” Allama Ibn Hajar Asqalaani رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہwrites, “Baidaawi said, “Because the Jews and Christians used to prostrate in respect towards the graves of the Prophets, make the graves as Qibla and read namaaz towards them, they had made these graves similar to idols, which the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم cursed and censored Muslims from imitating.” 12.24 Fat’hul-Baari, Sharah Bukhari
This Hadith clears and explains the quoted Hadith of the opposition. We now know that building domes was not censored, but making the Qabr the direction of Sajda.
Fourthy, this prohibition was not a command of Shariah but the teaching of piety and abstinence from the world, just as how even reinforcing the homes for living was stopped (as we have submitted in the first chapter). In fact, the strengthening used to be demolished.
Fifthly, building constructions around the grave is not allowed when the belief of the constructor is that the deceased will attain some ease or benefit from it. This belief is totally incorrect. It is permissible if the building is constructed for the ease of visitors.
We have made all of these interpretations because several Sahaaba have constructed buildings on specific graves. As a result, this action is a practice of the Sahaaba. Hadrat Umar Faaruq-e-Azam رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ built a structure around the grave of the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم and Hadrat Ibn Zubair رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, added to it later on. The wife of Imam Hasan Muthanaa also made a dome over her husband’s grave. We have already furnished the reference for this from Mishkaat Sharif. Under this act of Hadrat Hasan Muthanaa’s رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ wife, Mulla Ali Qaari رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes, “It is apparent that this dome was for the gathering of friends and Sahaaba so that they may perform the Zikr of Allahعزوجل recite the Holy Quran and make dua for forgiveness. Asserting this action of this virtuous woman to be unbeneficial is not in keeping with the great honour of the Able-Bait.” 12.25 – Mirqaat, Baabul-Bukaa


This clearly proves that to build an edifice that doesn’t offer any benefit to anyone is prohibited, but doing so is permissible if it is built for the comfort and ease of the visitors. Also, Hadrat Urnar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ built a dome on the grave of Sayyidah Zainab bint Jahsh رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہا Sayyidah Aisha رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہا built a dome on the grave of her brother, Hadrat Abdur-Rahman رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ and so did Hadrat Muhanunad ibn Hanfia رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ on the grave of Hadrat Abdullah ibn Abbas رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ.
Abu Abd Sulaiman رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, “Hadrat Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ built a dome over the ‘grave of Hadrat Zainab bint Jahsh رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, Sayyidah Aisha رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہا on the grave of her brother Hadrat Abdur-Rahman رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ and Hadrat Mubanunad ibn Hanfia رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ (the son of Hadrat Ali رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ) on the grave of Hadrat Ibn Abbaa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ Whoever has classified building domes to be disliked (Makrooh) has said so if they are built in boast and show.” 2.26-Muntaqaa, the Sharah of Muatta Imam Malik.
Badaaius-Sanaai states, “When Hadrat Ibn Abbas رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ passed away in Taaif Hadrat Muhanunad ibn Hanfia رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ read namaaz on him {i.e. Janaazah Salaah), arched his grave and built a dome over it.” 12.27 – Vol. 1, Pg. 320
Aini, the Sharah of Bukhari, states, “These Sahaaba have done this and indeed, the Rauza of Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم is visited by the entire Urfimah. No Muhaddith, Faqih or Aalim objected to the Rauza Sharif. Thus, the Hadith cited will have to be interpreted as we have.”
“Sitting on the grave” refers to climbing and sitting on top of it. This is what is prohibited, not becoming a caretaker (Mujaawar) there. There is no prohibition in becoming a caretaker at the grave. The duties of such a person are keeping the key to open and lock the building and seeing to the needs of it, etc. This is proven from the Sahaaba. Sayyidah Aisha رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہا the Mother of the Faithful, was the key-keeper and saw to the affairs of the Holy Prophet’sصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم Qabr Sharif. When the Sahaaba wished to visit (Ziyaarat) the blessed grave, they contacted her to open the Rauza Sharif for them. – Mishkaat, Baabud-Dafn
Even today, there are caretakers at the Rauza Sharif of the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. No one has ruled this to be impermissible.
OBJECTION 2: The Hadith states, “Abu Hayyaj Asadi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ narrates that Hadrat Ali رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ said to him, “Should I not send you on the task for which the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم bad also sent me for once? This task is to destroy any picture or statue and level any high grave you come across.” 11.29 -Mishkaat, Baabud-Dafn
Bukhari Sharif states, “Hadrat Ibn Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ saw a dome and tent on the grave of Hadrat Abdur-Rahman رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ and said, “Young man, remove it because his deeds are shading him.” 12.30 – Vol. 1, Kttaabut-Janaatz, Baabul­Jareed alal-Qabr
Both of these Ahadith prove that if a grave is high or has a building it, it should be brought down.
Important Note-Using this Hadith as a shield, the Najdi/Wahabies have demolished and leveled the graves (Mazaars) of the Sahaaba and Able-Bait to the ground.
Answer- The graves which Hadrat Aliرضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, was ordered to bring down were the graves belonging to the Kuffaar, not the graves of Muslims.
He said, “I shall send you on the task for which the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم also sent me once.” Those graves which Hadrat Ali رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ leveled in the time of the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم cannot have been the graves of Muslims because Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم used to attend the burial of every Sahaabi, and the Sahaaba never did anything without consulting the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. Thus, all the Muslims graves which existed in that time were either made in the presence of Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم or with his full consent. Based on this, which Muslim grave would’ve become impermissible and necessary to level? Yes, the graves of the Christians were high. Discussing the construction of Musjidun-Nabawi, Bukhari Sharif states, “Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم gave an order for the graves of polytheist. (Mushriks). Accordingly, they were unearthed, 12.31- Vol. 1, Pg. 61
There is a chapter in Bukhari Sharif named “Should the Mushriks’ graves from the Period of Ignorance be excavated?” – Vol. 1. Pg. 61
Allama Haafiz Ibn Hajar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہwrites in the annotation of this, “… Except for the Prophets and their followers, because exhuming their graves is disrespect to them.12.32-Fat’hul-Baari, Vol. 2, Pg. 26
And, ”This Hadith proves that disposition in a graveyard that has come into ownership is permissible. Old graves may be disentombed except for when they are respected:,12.33 – Fat ‘hul-Baari
This Hadith and its annotation have explained the cited Hadith of Hadrat Ali رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ by the opposition (i.e. it is the graves of Mushriks that should be leveled). Secondly, why were pictures mentioned with the graves? Where are there photos, etc. at the graves of Muslims? We can reason that only the graves of the Kuffaar are meant in it because only at their graves are pictures of the deceased kept. Thirdly, the quoted Hadith speaks of leveling the high graves to the ground. It is Sunnah for a Muslim grave to be a hand’s length above the earth. To level it equally against the earth is against the Sunnah. Again, we shall have to accept that the graves of the Kuffaar was intended, otherwise it will be very surprising that Hadrat Ali رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ levels high graves but his son, Muhammad ibn Hanfia رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ , is responsible for constructing a dome over Hadrat Ibn Abbas’s رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ grave!
Even if the grave of a Muslim has become high, still too can it not be brought down because this is disrespect to a Muslim. The grave shouldn’t be made high in the first place, but shouldn’t be destroyed if it is. To print the Holy Quean in fine print is prohibited (ref. Shaami, Kitaabul-Karaahiyat), but if it is, it shouldn’t be burned, discarded or thrown away because this is disrespectful to it.
The Ahadith state that it is forbidden to sit, excrete, walk with shoes or without upon the grave of a Muslim. It is unfortunate that the Wahabies have obliterated the tombs of the Friends of Allahعزوجل to the ground yet the graves of English Christians are continuously being made extremely high in Jeddah. Verily, Sayyiduna Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم :i spoke the truth, “Every person has love for his mutual kind.,,12.34
To use the Hadith of Hadrat Ibn Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ as a proof is absolutely baseless because he himself says that the shadow of a deceased’s deeds (aamaal) is sufficient. We establish from this that if a dome is made to shelter the deceased himself, it is impermissible. Under this very Hadith of Hadrat Ibn Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, Aini, the Sharah of Bukhari, states, “This gestures towards the permissibility of putting up a shelter over a grave for a valid purpose, e.g. to save people from the heat of the sun. It is not allowed to put up a shelter over a grave to give shade to the deceased.” 12.35
It is my personal experience that building shelters over the graves (Mazaars) is very beneficial. Once, I went to the Mazaar of Mulla Abdul-Hakeern Faazil Siyaalkoti رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, the eminent scholar of Islam. There was no covering over it and the heat of the sun was relentless. Due to the intensity of it, the earth was like hot coals. I quickly read a few ayats and Fatiha and returned because of the unbearable weather, but was saddened by what little I had done. It was then that I realized the benefit of buildings over the graves of the Auliya.
Under the ayat, “اذ یبایعونک تحت الشجرۃ”12.36 Tafseer Roohul-Bayaan speaks about the arrogant individuals who say that they will demolish the graves of the Saints to demonstrate to the people who respect them that the Friends of Allahعزوجل have no power, or they would save these graves from being demolished. It states, “Know that this action is pure infidelity (kufr). Such a deed is extracted from the saying of Firaun (pharaoh), “Leave me! I’ll kill Musa so that he can call his Lord! I fear that he will change your religion and spread mischief on the earth.12.31
Once, a person asked me, “If the Saints or Sahaaba had any power, why didn’t they save their graves from the Wahabies and Najdis? From this, we come to know that they are lifeless and dead, so why should they be respected and revered?”
There were 360 idols in the Holy Kaaba before the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم , and the Ahadith further state that, near Qiyaamat, there will be a person who will demolish the Holy Kaaba, Today, the Musjid Shaheed Ganj in Lahore has become the temple of Sikhs, and there are many other Musjids which have been demolished. What answer will you give to Hindus who ask, “If Allahعزوجل had any power, why didn’t he save His house from demolition?”
The Friends of Allah (Auliya) or their graves are respected due to their closeness to Allahعزوجل not solely for their power and authority.