Monday, December 19, 2005

Is it allowed to build Domes or structures over graves?


Is it allowed to build Domes or structures over graves?


Pseudo scholars define Bid'ah as anything that Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, did not do. However, the true definition of Bid'ah is:
'Anything that has not been done by Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, and does not have an origin (Asl) in the Shari'ah ¬ Qur'an and Sunnah'.

Certain people unceremoniously condemn the building of domes on Qubur as Bid'ah, but what about the building of domes on the Moques?

There were no domes on the Mosques in the time of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, nor were there any carpets, Minarets or Mihrabs. All these designs and structures were added long after the Beloved Nabi's time.

Domes were added to amplify the voice of the Imam by making it echo, carpets were added so that people did not have to pray on sand and minarets were added so that people could see the location of the mosque from a distance. Let those who cry "Bid'ah!" build themselves a mosque without a dome, carpet, Mihrab and Minarets.

Let us remember that the Nabi, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, himself put a large stone to mark the grave of his Sahabi Uthman bin Maz'un and said:
(li A'alama bihi Qabra Akhi) i.e. "So that I can know the Qabr of my brother".
(Abu Dawud and Mishkat al-Masabih).

This Hadith is the Asl (Islamic origin) for marking graves, especially that of special people so that they may be KNOWN. The designs and style of structure may change over the centuries, but the Original Idea comes from the Sunnah, as the idea to decorate Masajid.

The most significant proof for the permissibility of having structures over graves is the example of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, himself. He said that a Prophet should be buried where he passed away.
Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, passed away inside his house and was subsequently buried inside it, and the Sahabah did not destroy that structure.

For those who claim that this is an exception applicable only to Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, firstly, let them prove it from the Qur'an or Sunnah, and secondly, we ask them why Sayyidina Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, radi Allahu `anh, also wanted to be buried inside this structure? The very same holds true for Sayyidina Umar, radi Allahu `anh, who was also buried inside this structure. Their action clearly shows the validity of having a grave in a structure, for non-Prophets as well.

Another Hadith often misinterpreted and quoted out of context is where Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, ordered his Sahabah to destroy all the high graves.

In the time of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, there were no graves of Muslims, only graves of kuffar, which were built high. The Sahabah were thus ordered to destroy the high structures on the graves of the kuffar, not of the Anbiya or Awliya.

A significant evidence to support this is that when Sayyidina Umar, radi Allahu `anh, conquered Syria and Palestine, both lands abounded with great tombs of the honoured Prophets, `alaymu-s-salam, of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, e.g. the shrine of Nabi Ibrahim, `alayhi-s-salam, the tomb of Nabi Yusuf, `alayhi-s-salam, Nabi Ya'qub, `alayhi-s-salam, Nabi Dawud, `alayhi-s-salam, Nabi Sulayman, `alayhi-s-salam.

Sayyidina Umar, radi Allahu `anh, destroyed the idols in Syria and Palestine, but he did not touch the shrines of the beloved Prophets, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala. Thus the above Hadith refers to the high graves of the kuffar.

In a Sahih Hadith, Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, says that the honour of a Mu'min who has passed away is the same like his honour was when he was alive (Hurmatul Mumini maitan ka Hurmatihi Hayyan).

Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, says that the most honourable of you in the sight of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, are the pious ones. So we respect the pious in the Dunya, and when they pass away, we continue honouring them by venerating their graves (as allowed in Islam of course).

In another Sahih Hadith, it is narrated that when Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, looked at the Holy Ka'bah, he said, "How great are you, oh house of Allah, but I swear by Allah who created me, that the honour the believer is even greater than you".

The Holy Quran (Surah al-Haj Ayah 32) says:

"And those who venerate the Sha'a'ir Allahi (Signs/Symbols of Allah), then that is from the Taqwa in their hearts". (wa man yuazzim sha'a'ir Allahi fa innaha min Taqwal Qulub)

In the Quran (1:158), the mountains of Safa and Marwah were called Sha'a'ir Allahi, because they are the mountains on which a Waliyyah from the Ummah of Nabi Ibrahim, `alayhi-s-salam, called Hajirah ran seven times.

What about a place where a Wali from the Ummah of Nabi Muhammad's, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, is resting?

We believe that place is also from the Sha'a'ir Allahi and should be honoured.

It is thus unfortunate that some people want to prohibit us from honouring the Awliya of Allah. They forget that we honour them for the sake of Allah and not as Partners with Allah. No Muslim can ever do that.

There are also Qur'anic evidences supporting the building of structures at graves.

Surah al-Kahf, Ayah 21, speaks about the honourable Ashab al-Kahf.
According to Tafsir al-Jalalayn, 'The believers' built a Masjid at their Qubur. This was to derive extra blessings from the pious ones buried there, as in the Tafsirs of Khaffaji, Baydawi, Razi and Ruh Al-Bayan.

Also often misinterpreted is the Hadith which says that Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, cursed the people who have turned the Qubur of Prophets into Mosques.

This Hadith is actually referring to those people who actually pray to the Prophets, and not those who merely pray near the Prophets' graves - to Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, - for the sake of Barakah.

Every Haji can see that in Madinah, in the Blessed Prophet's (s.a.w) Mosque, people have been praying around the four sides of His Holy and Blessed Qabr ash-Shareef for 1400 years. Was that Shirk?

In Makkah, it is recommended to pray in Hijr Ismail (also called Hateem), as it has the Qabr of Nabi Ismail (a.s) in it as many scholars have said

(Qisas al-Anbiya by Ibn Katheer).

In the famous work of Shafi'i Fiqh, Umdat as-Salik, it is clearly stated that what is meant by "making a Qabr a Masjid" is:

"praying to it in honour or praying on it (Reliance of the Traveller p.896).

"Ittikhaz al-Qubur Masajid" does not mean praying around it or building structures over it. Building something on a Qabr is definitely not allowed as it is disrespectful to the person buried, but establishing the Qabr and building a structure over it is definitely allowed and the universal practice of the Ummah for 1400 years. There is no clear proof against this, only for it.

For 1400 years, the Honourable Tombs of the Great Sons and Daughters of Islam, throughout the Islamic World, have acted as symbols of inspiration and glory for all Muslims, as well as a source of Barakah and Spirituality.

It is indeed sad that, today, while other nations are working hard to maintain the memory of their Heroes and Leaders, We are being are told by certain ignorant 20th scholars to wipe out the memory of Our Heroes and Leaders.

In summary, to kiss the black stone is a Sunnah, to decorate the grave with flowers is a Sunnah, and to destroy the graves of the Awliya is a Bid'ah.
The Sahabah actually used to maintain the graves.

Question 7:

Another condemnation issued Shaykh Faaik was the comparison that he drew between the Muslims of Cape Town (and of the whole world for that matter as every Muslim country has respected Tombs/Kramats) who visit the shrines of the Awliya, and the idolaters in the time of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam? Are we the Same as the idolaters of Makkah?


That statement of 'Shaykh' Faaik really proves how ignorant he is. Here, Faaik is actually trying to invalidate an authentic saying of Nabi Muhammad's, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam.

It is narrated in a Sahih Hadith in Ibn Majah (Kitab al-Zuhd), that Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, said that the thing he dreaded most for his Ummah was Shirk. Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, went on to say that he does not mean that his Ummah is going to worship the sun or the moon or idols (ama la aqulu tabuduna shamsan wala qamaran wala wasana), but that they are going to do things for reasons besides for the sake of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, e.g. they would pray to impress people, perform hajj to show off, and the study the Deen to show off to people or cause Fitnah.

So, Prophet Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, did not fear that his Ummah would worship idols. If someone comes along and says that the Ummah of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, is worshipping idols, he is implying that Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, was wrong.
Astagh firullah.

Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, actually warned us about people like Shaykh Faaik. It is narrated in a Sahih Hadith that Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, said that towards the end of time, people will say to you things that neither you, nor your forefathers have heard. Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, goes on to say that we should beware of them, lest we be misguided into confusion.

In the light of the fact that Shaykh Faaik is quoting Hadith about the kuffar in Makkah who worshipped idols and is now using in reference to Muslims, we say:

In Sahih al-Bukhari it is narrated that Abdullah ibn Umar said that the Khawarij (enemies of Sayyidina Ali) were the worst of people because they used Qur'anic Ayats referring to the kuffar, and made it to refer to believers. (nazalat fil Mushrikeen wa Ja'a looha fil Mumineen).This is exactly what Shaykh Faaik is doing.

Shaykh Faaik also compared us to the people who, in the time of Nabi Nuh, `alayhi-s-salam, used to keep pictures of certain people and then worshipped it. How can he compare those kuffar to the Ummah of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam? How can one compare the misguided people of Nabi Nuh to the blessed followers of Nabi Muhammad (s.a.w)?

Shaykh Faaik also says that if you honour the Awliya, you will end up worshipping them. However, Muslims all over the world have been honouring the Awliya for 1400 years, and until today, nobody has ever worshipped them. In Cape Town people have been honouring the Awliya for 300 years and, alhamdulillah, the people of Cape Town are still Muslims - nobody worships the Awliya, but all respect them, except hypocrites of course.

Finally, Shaykh Faaik quotes an Ayah of the Qur'an where the kuffar say that they worship idols to get closer to Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, claiming that that is the same for those who visit the shrines of the Awliya of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala. This is an utter misinterpretation of that Ayah. The kuffar were lying - they did not really and fully believe in Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, but were only making excuses.

Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, instructed us not to swear at the "gods" of the kuffar, as these kuffar will then swear at Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, (The Holy Qur'an 6:108). This proves that they did not really believe in Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala. In the battle of Uhud, the Kuffar were calling the names of their idols, when the Sahabah called the name of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala!

Also, the kuffar explicitly said that they worship (Na'buduhum) their "gods" to get closer to Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala. Not a single Muslim out of all the millions of Muslims in the world who visit the Awliya claims to worship them. We only respect and love them and want to be close to them because Allah says:

(Inna Rahmat Allahi Qaribun minal Muhsineen) i.e. Verily, the Rahmah (Mercy) of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, is close to the Pious Ones.

We can only repeat the Ayah of the Quran: (Afa tajaloon al-Muslimeena kal Mujrimeen-Maalakum Kaifa tahkumun) i.e. "Do you make the Muslims like the Mujrims (Kuffar)-What is (wrong) with you, How do you Judge?"

Faaik Gamieldien says that only Allah is our protector and helper and we don't need any Prophet or pious person's Barakah.

We say that Allah himself clearly states in the Holy Qur'an (5:55):

"Verily, your Wali (Protector or Helper) is Allah, His Messenger, and the believers". (Exact words of the Saudi translation of the Qur'an validated by the university of Madinah, printed in Riyadh: 1993).

Also, it is narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari (Kitab al-Jihad) under the Heading "Whoever Sought the Help of the Poor and the Pious people in War", that the Prophet, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, said:

"You gain no victory or livelihood except through (the blessings and invocations of) the poor amongst you". (Exact words of the Saudi Validated translation by Muhsin Khan).

Yes, ultimately Allah is the only protector and helper but the Anbiya and the Awliya are the attractors and the reflections and of his help and protection. Only an ignoramus can deny this.


Today some people claim to teach us Tawhid. We have to remember that there are two types of Tawhid - the true Tawhid, and the false tawhid. We have to beware of the false tawhid, which is the tawhid of Iblis, as it started with him.

Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, ordered Iblis (Shaytan) to Sujud (prostrate) before Nabi Adam, `alayhi-s-salam, out of veneration. Iblis responded that he only venerates Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, and nobody else. What is Iblis's fate? Hell.

The cursed Iblis was the first 'Aalim' who thought that venerating a friend of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, is against Tawhid.

So those who do not want us to honour the people who Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, has honoured by making them His Awliya, are like Iblis - claiming to honour Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, exclusively, and not honouring the friends of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala.

The Malaika (Angels) knew that true belief in Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, means loving, respecting, and venerating all those close to him, so they bowed to Adam (a.s), and were blessed.

It is ironic that the Mala'ika (Angels) made Sajdah to Nabi Adam, `alayhi-s-salam, but some people today, have a problem with Honouring Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, and don't want to stand up for his honour.

However, they will stand up to drink Zamzam water, in respect of it and because it is Sunnah to drink Zamzam standing and drink all other water sitting. They honour Zamzam, water that come from the Blessed feet of Nabi Ismail, `alayhi-s-salam, but refuse to honour the greatest of all Prophets.

This becomes even more ironic when we read in Sahih al-Bukhari (Kitab al-Jana'iz) that the Nabi, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, and His Sahabah would even stand up in respect for a Jewish man's funeral procession!!!

A Jewish man's Janazah can be honoured but the Beloved Nabi of Allah, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, cannot be Honoured because it is bid'ah to stand up!!! This is the Tawhid of Iblis.

The Tawhid of Islam insists that we honour all those whom Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, has honoured, the Anbiya, Siddiqin, Shuhada and Salihin, all the honourable Prophets and Friends of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala.

NOTE: If Mr.Gamieldien cannot answer all these decisive proofs, then he should keep quiet and go back to study the Qur'an and Sunnah.




- Al-Qur'an Al-Karim (The Saudi Translation)
- As-Sihah Al-Sittah (The Six Major Authentic Collections of Hadith)
- Mafaheem Yajib an Tusah-hah by Al-Shaykh As-Sayyid Muhammad Alawi Al-Maliki
- Manhaj al-Salaf fi Fahm al-Nusus by Al-Shaykh As-Sayyid Muhammad Alawi Al-Maliki
- Minhaj al-A'abideen by Al-Imam al-Ghazali
- Al-Hawi lil Fatawi by Al-Imam Al-Suyuti
- Reliance of the Traveller (Trns. of Umdat al-Salik by Al-Naqib al-Masri) by Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller

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