Ignorant people make Sajdah (prostrate) at the gravesides. They also make Tawaaf around it and kiss it. According to the Shariah, all such actions are totally impermissible. Our Aimmah of the Ahle Sunnat have clearly classified such acts as Haraam and impermissible. Since making Tawaaf, Sajdah, tying the hands (as in Salaat) whilst standing, etc. are all actions that are specific with Ibaadat, and our Shariah has never consented to affording such respect at the gravesides, which leads to worshipping at the graves. Our Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) knew that the previous nations were led astray due to their excessiveness, hence he advised this Ummat of his to abstain and save themselves from such actions. Hadhrat Aishah (radhiAllaahu anha), mentions that Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) said during his last days:

“Allaah Ta`ala has cursed the Yahood (Jews) and Nasara (Christians) because they had made the graves of their prophets into places of worship.” [Mishkaat, page 29]

It is stated in another Hadith: “Listen! The people before you used to make the graves of their prophets and Walis places of Sajdah. Know well! You must not make the graves places of worship, I am prohibiting you (therefrom).” [Ibid.]

“Oh Allaah! Do not make my grave an idol which is worshipped. The Anger of Allaah Ta`ala is severe upon that nation that makes the graves of their prophets places of worship.” [Mishkaat, page 172]

A Sahaabi, Hadhrat Qais Bi Sa`ad (radhiAllaahu anhu) states that once he went to Hira. At this place he noticed that the people used to make Sajdah to their rulers. He thought to himself that Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) was more deserving of being granted such respect and dignity. When he returned, he came into the presence of Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) and presented this thought of his, whereupon Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) said:

“If you had to pass by my grave, would you make Sajdah there?” The Sahaabi replied in the negative. Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Never ever do it. If I was to instruct anyone to make Sajdah to another human, then I would have instructed the womenfolk to make Sajdah to their husbands, owing to the rights their husband have over them.” [Mishkaat, page 282]

Reflect upon these Ahaadith, and you will note with what severity our Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) has forbidden his Ummat from enacting such vile acts, as grave worship. Those who deem a grave an idol by making Sajdah near it, has been cursed by Allaah Ta`ala. Such an act also invites the severe Wrath and Anger of Allaah Ta`ala.

Based on these Ahaadith the Ulama of the Ahle Sunnat have branded Sajdah at the graves as an act of open Shirk (polytheism). Mullah Ali Qaari (rahmatullahi alaih) states in commentary of the Hadith “Allaah has cursed the Yahood and Nasara”:

“The reason for the curse upon the Jews and Christians was either because owing to their excessive respect for the prophets they made Sajdah at the (prophets‟) graves, which is clear-cut Shirk, or because they used to perform Salaat for Allaah Ta`ala at the gravesites of their prophets. And during their Salaat they would face in the direction of the graves and make Sajdah upon them. They would be under the impression that they are executing two virtuous acts at the same time – i.e. Ibaadat for Allaah Ta`ala and excessive expression of respect for the prophets. This would constitute Shirk-e-Khafi (minor polytheism). The reason for this is that the creation is granted such high honour and respect which has not been permitted. Hence, our Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) has prohibited such actions because it resembles the actions of the non-believers and also because it is an act of Shirk-e-Khafi.” [Footnote of Mishkaat, page 69]

Hadhrat Shah Waliullaah Muhaddith Dehlwi (rahmatullahi alaih) states in “Alfowzul Kabeer”:

“If you wish to see the entire scenario of the beliefs and actions of the Mushrikeen, then look at how the ignorant and foolish people of these times behave at the shrines and tombs, where they carry out all sorts of acts of Shirk. There is no calamity which is present in this present era which was not present in the previous nations, by some or the other people. May Allaah Ta`ala save us from such actions and beliefs.”

Hadhrat Thanaaullaah Paani Pati Hanafi (rahmatullahi alaih) states:

“It is HARAAM to make Sajdah at the graves of the Auliyaa, to make Tawaaf around them, to make dua to them (i.e. ask of them) and to make a Nazr (vow) on their names. In fact, many of these actions lead one to Kufr. Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) has cursed such actions, and he has forbidden them and he said that his grave not be made a place of worship.” [Mala Budda Minhu, page 88]

He states in “Irshaadut Taalibeen”, on page 81:

“It is not permissible to make Tawaaf around the graves, because Tawaaf of the Baitullaah is in the order of Salaat. Rasulullaah (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) said that Tawaaf of the Baitullaah is Salaat.”

It is stated in “Fataawa Aalimgiri” on page 351, vol.5:

“Burhaan Tarjumani states: „We do not regard the placing of the hands upon the grave as Sunnah nor as an act of any virtue, but if anyone places his hand on a grave, then there is no harm.‟ Ainul Aimmah Karabeesi states: „We have found it such to be without any prohibition from our predecessors.‟ Shamsul Aimmah Makki states: „This is a Bid`ah.‟ Similar is stated in „Qunyah‟. The hands should not be placed upon the graves, and they should not be kissed, because indeed such actions are from amongst the habits of the Christians.”

The crux of this ruling is that if one places his hand on a grave then there is no harm, as long as one does not regard it as a Sunnah or an act of virtue. But to pass the hands over the grave and to kiss the grave regarding them as acts worthy of blessing, then it will be an act of Bid`ah. This was not the method of the pious predecessors. In fact, it is a trait of the Christians.


  1. I have been told we sould not join the main Jamaat for swalaat behind the Imaams in Quaaba. Please adivise as it is causing a lot of confusions as some brothers do swalaat in their hotel rooms with other imaams.Thnks nd Jazaak Humullah.

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