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Ruling on Visiting Graves


Is it permissible for one to visit the graves of the saints, pious and other Muslims? Some people say that it is unlawful to visit graves. Can you explain the ruling on this with evidence from the Sunnah? Also, if it is permissible, then what are the benefits in doing so?



In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,


It is the understanding of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah that, visiting graves in general and the graves of the prophets, pious and saints in particular, is not just something that is permissible, rather recommended (mandub) and rewarding.


There are many prophetic traditions in this regard, just to mention a few:


1) Ibn Buraida narrates from his father that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “I used to forbid you from visiting graves. Now, do visit them…” (Sahih Muslim, no. 977)


2) Sayyida A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) narrates that “Whenever it was her turn to spend the night with the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), he used to go to the Baqi (graveyard) in the last portion of the night and say: “May you be safe, O abode of the believing people. What you have been promised has come to you. You are tarried till tomorrow and certainly we shall follow you if Allah wills. O Allah, forgive the inmates of the Baqi-al-Gharqad.” (Sahih Muslim, no. 974)


3) Sayyiduna Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “…Visit graves, for it reminds one of his death.” (Sahih Muslim, no. 976)


4) Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “I used to forbid you from visiting graves. Now, do visit them, for it (visiting graves) makes one ascetic of the world and reminds one of the hereafter.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, no. 1571)


5) Sayyida A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) says: “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) gave permission in the visitation of graves.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, no. 1570)


The above and many other narrations of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) are more than sufficient to prove the permissibility and desirability of visiting graves.


There are many reasons for visiting graves, such as:


a) It is a Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), as we have seen in Hadith no. 2, quoted above;


b) It reminds, the person visiting, of death, as mentioned in Hadith no 3;


c) It reminds, the person visiting, of the purpose of one’s life and helps him in removing the love of this world from his heart and striving in the betterment of the hereafter;


d) One benefits from the baraka of the person visited if one goes with a good intention, whether one realizes it or not. Those with more spiritual clarity realize this more clearly;


e) It benefits the one visited, because of the reward of recital of Qur’an (and other matters) one makes.


Having said the above, one must always remember not to engage oneself in any unlawful and blameworthy act when visiting graves, such as prostrating (sajda) to the graves, which is undeniably a grave sin, if not Kufr.


Similarly, excessive mourning, crying and wailing has also been prohibited by the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace). Intermingling of the sexes at the graves of many saints is very common, which is unlawful, and must be avoided.


Thus, all acts that are unlawful or innovation must be avoided when visiting graves. If one avoids such matters, and visits the graves by observing the proper manners (adab) and etiquettes of visiting, then not only will visiting graves be permissible, rather it will be regarded as an commendable act of virtue.


And Allah Knows Best


[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam

Darul Iftaa

Leicester , UK



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Masails regarding visiting the graves



Can Women visit the graveyard?

In the Hanafi school of thought it is permissible for old women to visit graves as long as there is no action which is contrary to the Shariah such as loud crying, intermingling with men, body not fully covered as is required in the Shariah.


Allahmah Ibn Abeedeen Shami (RA) has said that if the woman goes to the graves to cry, renew sorrows etc… then this will not be permissible. However, if they visit for contemplation or to seek barakah, then it is not wrong if they are old. It is disliked if they are young. (Raddul Muhtar p.151 v.3)


When Should one visit the Graveyards?

It is preferable and source of blessing to visit the graveyard on the following days:


1.      Monday

2.      Thursday

3.      Friday

4.      Saturday


It is best to visit after jummah prayers on Friday, Saturday until sunrise, Thursday in the beginning of the day. Similarly on blessed nights like 15th Shabaan, two eids, Day of Aashorah. (Fatawa Hindiyyah P.350 v.5)


What is the ruling of making buildings in a graveyard?

The whole purpose of the rulings in Islam about the simplicity of burying the deceased i.e. no extravagant funerals or tombs should be built is because so people when visiting the graves ponder, contemplate about the hearafter and realise that one day they will be leaving this would and be inside the grave. Keeping the grave simple without any extravagant designs reminds oneself of his creation that he was a piece of earth and Allah created him into a human with it.


Having graves made out of cement, bricks, building tombs around it destroys the whole purpose of visiting a grave; hence it will not be permissible. (Fatawa Rahimiyah P.67 V.7)


Rules for placing flowers on the grave


The placing of flowers on a grave is an action not proven through the Prophet of Allah (SAW) or the Sahabas (RA) or Tabreen’s (RA). (Fatawa Rahimiyah P123 V.7)


Hazrat Shah Ishaaq Muhadith Dehlwi in “Ma la budah Minh” has said that this above mentioned practice is a custom of the disbelievers. The Prophet of Allah (SAW) has said: “Whoever imitates a group of people, he is from them.” (Sunan Abu Dawud P.559 v.2)


Making Graves into places of worship

The Prophet of Allah (SAW) said: Let there be curse of Allah upon the Jews and Christians for they have taken the graves of their apostles as places of worship.” (Sahih Muslim )


The Prophet of Allah (SAW) seeing the Jews and Christians indulging in these practices realised the danger of his own people falling into this trap, therefore he forbid us to do such practices.


Sacrifice at graves

It is not correct to sacrifice animals at graves and then distribute the meat there. Saaiduna Anas (RA) says that the Prophet of Allah (SAW) said:


“There is no slaughtering of animals on graves in Islam.” (Sunan Abu Dawud )


To Face the grave and make dua

It is permissible to face the graves and make dua to Allah (SWA) on the condition it is not understood and believed that the deceased is being asked. If so, dua should be made turning away from the graves. (Ahsanul Fatawa P.225 V.4)


Tawaf around the grave

Tawaf is only done around the house of Allah (SWA) and should not be done around the graves of the Prophets or pious people. (Fatawa Darul Uloom Deoband P.423 v.5)


Visiting Graves at Night

It is permissible to visit the graves at night. (Fatawa Darul Uloom Deoband P.453 v.5)


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What to recite when visiting the graveyard




1. I would like to visit a family member's grave. Please tell me what can we do and can't do and how to do it, step by step.

2. Can we take female members of the family with us?



1. When visiting the graveyard recite the du`aa:

اَلسَّلامُ عَلَيْكُمْ أَهْلَ الدِّيَارِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ وَالْمُسْلِمِيْنَ وَإِنَّا إِنْ شَاءَ اللهُ بِكُمْ لاَحِقُوْن نَسْأَلُ اللهَ لَنَا وَلَكُمُ الْعَافِيَة

While standing at the graveside, one can recite any portion of the Qur’an and convey the reward of the recitation to the deceased. However, the following surahs have been mentioned specifically to be recited at the graveside:

1) Surah Yaaseen, 2) Surah Faatiah, 3) The opening verses of Surah Baqarah and the concluding verses of Surah Baqarah. 4) Aayatul Kursi, 5) Surah Mulk, 6) Surah Takaathur, 7) Surah Ikhlaas

2. No.

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

عن سليمان بن بريدة عن أبيه قال كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يعلمهم إذا خرجوا إلى المقابر فكان قائلهم يقول - في رواية أبي بكر السلام على أهل الديار - وفي رواية زهير السلام عليكم أهل الديار من المؤمنين والمسلمين وإنا إن شاء الله للاحقون أسأل الله لنا ولكم العافية (صحيح مسلم رقم 975)

والسنة زيارتها قائما كما كان يفعل رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم في الخروج إلى البقيع ويقول : السلام عليكم دار قوم مؤمنين وإنا إن شاء الله بكم لاحقون أسأل الله لي ولكم العافية

قال الطحطاوي : قوله ( السلام عليكم دار قوم الخ ) ورد سلام عليكم أهل الديار من المؤمنين والمسلمين وهذا يدل على أن في الكلام مضافا محذوفا تقديره أهل دار وروي الحديث بألفاظ مختلفة وأخرج ابن عبد البر في الاستذكار والتمهيد بسند صحيح عن ابن عباس قوله ( قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ما من أحد يمر بقبر أخيه المؤمن كان يعرفه في الدنيا فيسلم عليه إلا عرفه ورد عليه السلام قوله ( لاحقون ) أي على أتم الحالات فصح ذكر المشيئة وإلا فاللحاق بهم لا محيص عنه قوله ( أسأل الله لي ولكم العافية ) أي من سخط الله ومكروهات الآخرة (حاشية الطحطاوي على مراقي الفلاح ص621)

قال الشامي : قوله ( ويقرأ يس ) لما ورد من دخل المقابر فقرأ سورة يس خفف الله عنهم يومئذ وكان له بعدد من فيها حسنات بحر وفي شرح اللباب ويقرأ من القرآن ماتيسر له من الفاتحة وأول البقرة إلى المفلحون وآية الكرسي وآمن الرسول وسورة يس وتبارك الملك وسورة التكاثر والإخلاص اثني عشر مرة أو إحدى عشرا أو سبعا أو ثلاثا ثم يقول اللهم أوصل ثواب ما قرأناه إلى فلان أو إليهم اه (رد المحتار 2/ 242)

أحسن الفتاوى 4/ 222

قوله ( ولو للنساء ) وقيل تحرم عليهن والأصح أن الرخصة ثابتة لهن بحر وجزم في شرح المنية بالكراهة لما مر في اتباعهن الجنازة وقال الخير الرملي إن كان ذلك لتجديد الحزن والبكاء والندب على ما جرت به عادتهن فلا تجوز وعليه حمل حديث لعن الله زائرات القبور وإن كان للاعتبار والترحم من غير بكاء والتبرك بزيارة قبور الصالحين فلا بأس إذا كن عجائز ويكره إذا كن شواب كحضور الجماعة في المساجد اه وهو توفيق حسن (رد المحتار 2/242)

قوله ( وقيل تحرم على النساء ) وسئل القاضي عن جواز خروج النساء إلى المقابر فقال لا تسأل عن الجواز والفساد في مثل هذا وإنما تسأل عن مقدار ما يلحقها من اللعن فيه واعلم بأنها كلما قصدت الخروج كانت في لعنة الله وملائكته وإذا خرجت تحفها الشياطين من كل جانب وإذا أتت القبور تلعنها روح الميت وإذا رجعت كانت في لعنة الله كذا في الشرح عن التتارخانية قال البدر العيني في شرح البخاري وحاصل الكلام أنها تكره للنساء بل تحرم في هذا الزمان لا سيما نساء مصر لأن خروجهن على وجه فيه فساد وفتنة ا هـ وفي السراج وأما النساء إذا أردن زيارة القبور إن كان ذلك لتجديد الحزن والبكاء والندب كما جرت به عادتهن فلا تجوز لهن الزيارة وعليه يحمل الحديث الصحيح لعن الله زائرات القبور وإن كان للاعتبار والترحم والتبرك بزيارة قبور الصالحين من غير ما يخالف الشرع فلا بأس به إذا كن عجائز وكره ذلك للشابات كحضورهن في المساجد للجماعات (حاشيه الطحطاوي على مراقي الفلاح ص620)

Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

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