Fiqh-us-Sunnah Volume 004, Funerals and Dhikr, Fiqh 4.069A.

Section : Building Mosques or Placing Lights on Graves.

There are many sound and clear hadith concerning the unlawfulness of building mosques over graves or putting lights on them. Abu Hurairah reported: "The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: 'May Allah destroy the Jews, because they used the graves of their prophets as places of worship.'' (Bukhari and Muslim)

Ibn 'Abbas reported: "The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, cursed the women who visit graves and those who build mosques and place lights on them.'' (Reported by Ahmad and other compilers of the Sunan except Ibn Majah. Tirmizhi considers it a sound hadith) Abdullah Al-Bujali said: "I heard Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him, five nights before his death, saying: 'I declare myself innocent before Allah of having an intimate friend from among you. Indeed, Allah, the Mighty and the Majestic, has taken me as an intimate friend just as he took Ibrahim as His intimate friend. Had I to take an intimate friend from among you, I would have taken Abu Bakr as my intimate friend. Before you there was a group who turned the graves of their prophets and their righteous ones into mosques. Do not turn graves into mosques. I forbid you to do that.'' (Muslim)

Abu Hurairah narrated: "The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: 'May Allah curse Jews and Christians for they turned the graves of their Prophets into places of worship'.'' (Muslim Bukhari and Muslim)

'Aishah reported: "Umm Habibah and Umm Salamah mentioned to Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him, a church in which they saw drawings while in Abyssinia, whereupon he said: 'Those people used to build a place of worship over the grave of a righteous man among them when he died and make such drawings in it. These will be the worst of people in the sight of Allah on the Day of Resurrection.'' (Bukhari and Muslim)

The author of Al-Mughni said: "It is not permissible to build mosques around graves because of the statement of the Prophet, peace be upon him, 'May Allah curse the women who visit graves and those who build mosques and place lights over them.''' (Reported by Abu Daw'ud and Nasa'i)

If it were permissible, the Prophet, peace be upon him, would not have cursed those who did it. Moreover, this practice wastes money and encourages adoration of graves similar in spirit to the adoration of idols. Because of this report it is not permissible to build mosques over graves. Besides, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "May Allah curse the Jews who turned the graves of their prophets into places of worship," in order to warn others against pursuing a similar course. (Muslim and Bukhari)

'Aishah said: "The only reason the grave of Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him, was not made prominent was to stop people from turning it into a mosque." Designating certain graves as places of prayers is similar to adoring idols and seeking their pleasure. The worship of idols started with the adoration of the dead, making images of them, touching them, and offering prayers at their graves. (The commentator on this said: "It points to what Bukhari narrated from Ibn Abbas concerning the reason why the people of Noah worshipped idols. They were known as Wadd, Sawa', Yaghuth, Ya'uq, and Nasr. These were pious people of whom they made images in order to remember them after their death and imitate them. Due to the lack of knowledge that became prevalent among the people, Satan made it appear beautiful to worship their images and likenesses, and to honour them, wipe over them, and approach them. Wiping them is passing one's hand over them to invoke their blessing and intercession. The same was done to the graves of righteous people. This practice was initiated by idolaters, and then passed on to Jews and Christians and then to Muslims. Such objects are equivalent to idols.")

Related Hadith(s)