(Discussion between Hameed and Rasheed)
Oneday Rasheed and Hameed were sitting near the shrine of a famous Holy Saint, which is visited by a large number of people. Rasheed asks his friend Hameed in amazement:-
Rasheed: Mister! These days’ people are behaving in a strange way. They have forgotten the commandments of Allah SWT and his Prophet (PBUH). They gather near the graves and do strange things like bowing head, praying the dead as if the dead will come to their rescue. This sort of “GRAVEYARDISM” (grave worship) is polytheism and infidelity.
Hameed: I am surprised by your thinking. It seems you are unaware of Quran and Ahadith. Modern education has weakened your faith. You cannot call a person Polytheist or infidel without really knowing about him. It is disgraceful and against shariah. I will answer your questions in detail later but right now I will tell you the consequences of calling a muslim- an infidel or a polytheist in the light of Quran and Prophet’s (SAW) sayings, which will make you, understand the result of your loose talks.
Rasheed: Let me know the commandments of Allah SWT. Please proceed!
Hameed: Holy Quran say’s: -
(Section 13 of Surah Al-Nisa)
Translation: O ye who believe! When ye go out in the cause of Allah (SWT), investigate carefully, and say not to any one “Thou art none of believer.”
The same thing is found in Hadith-e-Shareef: -
Translation: Ibne Omar (R.A) reported that Prophet (SAW) said: “If any man calls his brother an infidel then one among them will be away from Islam. If the accused is really infidel, he will be away; otherwise the infidelity will fall upon the accuser”. (Bukhari, Muslim)
In another Hadith:
Translation: Abu Zar (R.A) reported that Prophet (SAW) said that if a man tells another an infidel and he is not an infidel then his accusations rebouncess him.
Rasheed: It is true that one should not say infidel to a Muslim, but Muslims like these, who perform all sorts of deeds which are against shariah like grave worship, what do you have to say about them? Is there any order from above to visit graves and worship them or any saying from Holy Prophet SAW?
Hameed: Listen! Allah SWT says in the holy Quran:
(Section 17 of Surah Tauba)
Translation: Nor do thou pray for any of them that dies, nor stand at his grave (who has shown hostility to Islam) for they have rejected Allah and his messenger. This verse is about hypocrites (Munafiqoon). This verse clearly cautions us that one should not go near their graves and should not pray for their forgiveness (Maghfirat) or Isaal-e-Sawaab.
The very word ‘Isaal-e-Sawaab’ might have aroused critical views in your mind. But I would erase it for you. We are aware now that to go to a true Muslim’s grave and pray for his Maghfirat (Forgiveness) and Isaal-e-Sawaab i.e. to recite Surah Fatiha and Darood-e-Shareef is not forbidden from Quranic view point.
Holy Quran further says:
(section 2 of surah Al-Mumtahana Para28)
Translation: O ye who believe! Turn not (for friendship) to people whom is the wrath of Allah. Of the hereafter they are already in despair, just as the unbelievers are in despair about those (buried) in graves.
This verse is in regard to Muslim beggars. Few Jews used to befriend Muslim beggars by giving them fruits and dates. Allah SWT warned the beggars in this verse saying “O believers! Take not as friends to those upon whom is Allah’s wrath. They are in indeed despaired of the hereafter as the infidels are despaired of the inmate of the graves.”
Now I will quote a few more Ahadith in relation to visiting graveyards, and I am sure you will, to a large extent, be satisfied with them.
Translation: Buraida (R.A) reported that Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) said: “I had forbidden you from visiting graveyard. (But now it is permitted) Do visit them”.
(Muslim and Mishkat Shareef in chapter Janaaiz Ziyaratul Quboor)
(This command is for both men and women because of ‘Zoorooha’ in the sentence. But a woman should wear an outer cover when going to a Non-Mahram’s grave (other than brother, father and husband). This will be discussed in detail later.
And Ibne Masood reported:
(Visiting graveyard) This creates disinterest in worldly affairs and reminds one of his/her death (Life hereafter).
Deeds of great Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) of the Prophet (PBUH) also account for visiting graveyards. Hazrath Syeda Fatima Zehra’s (R.A) visit to Rasool Allah’s SAW grave and applying the dust of his grave on her eyes, she said: “Those of you, who smelt the dust of Prophet’s SAW grave, they do not need to smell the perfumes for a long time”. This incident is recorded in Ibne Jouzi’s book ‘Al-Wafa’. This book has also quoted Syedna Ali (R.A), various Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) and even Rasool Allah SAW’s visit to Syedna Hamza’s (R.A) grave near mountain of Ohad.
According to Hazrat Imam Jaffar (A.S), his father hAZRATH Imam Baqar (A.S) reported that Hazrath Fatima Azzahra (R.A) used to visit Hazrath Syedna Hamza’s (R.A) grave very often. She used to perform namaaz and cry near it. This is quoted in ‘Mazaq-ul-Aarifeen’, translation of ‘Ahya Uloom Al-deen’ (Vol 4 p 1632). Successors to the Companions (Tabayeen) and Tabe-tabayeen also used to do the same which can be found in many books and all those interested can look out for them. Hazrath Abdul Haq Mohaddis-e-Dahlvi in his book “Jazbul Quloob” writes:
Translation: “Lo, May God makes you virtuous that traditions (sayings) about visiting graveyard are numerous. Some Ahadith directly quote ”Ziyarat-e-Quboor” (Visiting graveyard), while few others prove our claim and supply meaning to our purpose through indirect approach. There are some responsible scholars who had assigned the following Ahadith and majority of them come under “Hasan”.
First Ahadith quoted by the writer of Nuzhatul Nazereen:
"It became compulsory (wajib) for me to intercede for those who would visit my shrine."
“Whoever visits my grave after my death is like visiting me when I am alive. ”
Hazrat Ali (R.A) reported that Prophet Mohammed SAW said: “After my death, visiting my shrine is like visiting me when I am alive. And those who did not visit my shrine, are indeed cruel to me. (Jazbul Quloob Ila Dayar IlMahboob)
The great arch of Prophet (Mahrab-e-Nabavi SAW) contains (on both right and left sides) Ahadith mentioned above, stated by Hazrath Abdul Haq Mohaddis-e-Dahlvi.
(At the time of Turkish rule these Ahadith were very much found but I have no idea if Saudi rulers have still installed them or have erased.)