Thursday, September 8, 2011


From Layman’s Desk-14
Part 22 continued – DOMES OVER GRAVES.
It has been the universal practice of the Muslim Ummah from the beginning to build up tombs over the graves of the pious ones so that it would be easier for them to locate their graves during the ziyarah since the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) had ordered: “Visit the graves”.
It is in Hadith, narrated by Abu Dawood and al-Bayhaqi in al-Kubra (3:412) with fair chains; Ibn Hajar, Talkhis al-Habir (2:134) and Ibn al-Mulaqqin, Tuhfat al-Muhtaj (2:29):  "Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) asked a man (Sahabi)  to place a rock on top of Ibn Maz`un's ®  Grave. When he was unable to move it (as the rock was too large), Allah's Apostle  (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam)  rolled up his sleeves and helped him and the whiteness of his arms was visible (to everyone). Ibn Maz`un ® was the first of the emigrants (Muhajirin) buried in Baqi al-Gharqad. Hadhrat Ibrahim (a.s.), Prophet's (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) son, was buried next to him. (Abu Dawood, al-Bayhaqi, Ibn Hajar, Ibn al-Mulaqqin).  
We also have the example of Fatima ® marking the grave of her uncle Hamza ® with a rock as she used to visit it every Friday, pray and weep. 
Another example is that we find in the utterances of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (R) who when addressed by Marwan the Governor of Madina Munawwara told him: “Yes, I came to the Prophet, not to a stone…”  which is part of the Hadith narrated by al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak, ibn Hanbal in Musnad,  al-Subki in Shifa al-Siqam, and ibn Taimiyya in al-Muntaqa.  The use of the word "stone" in the previous hadith, IF AUTHENTIC, indicates that the Prophet's (sal Allahu wasallam) grave was built up with stone already in the time of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari ®.

The first tomb in Islam is the grave of the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) which is inside the room of the house of Aisha ®.  There itself are the tombs of Abu Bakr ® buried next to Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) and that of Umar ® buried next Prophet (sal Allah alayhi wasallam) and Abu Bakr ®.   
Hadrat Umar (R) wish to get buried beside Tomb of Prophet(sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) in a room.  Al-Bukhari narrates in his Sahih, Book of Jana’iz:  When `Umar was stabbed he sent his son `Abd Allah with a message to `A’isha to “Ask her if I can be buried with my two companions,” that is, in her room, next to the Prophet and Abu Bakr. `Aisha replied: “I wanted the spot for myself, but I shall put him [`Umar] before me today.”  It had been her wont that if a man from among the Companions asked her for that spot she would always refuse. She herself gave the following instructions before her death: “Bury me with my lady-friends (the wives of the Prophet in al-Baqi`) [but do not bury me with the Prophet in the house, for I dislike to be held in reverence (inni akrahu an uzakka)."  Ibn `Umar came back with the news, whereupon `Umar said: "NOTHING IN THE WORLD WAS MORE IMPORTANT TO ME THAN THAT RESTING-PLACE." [Narrated by al-Bukhari in his Sahih.]
Why did Hadrat Umar ® want to get buried in a room and not outside?  Why is Hadrat Abu Bakr ® buried in a room?  These are the rhetoric questions which would indicate that a tomb is also a room built around the grave, and it proves it is a sunnah! 
Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) ordered his pious mazaar to be within a secured room with surrounding walls and roofing.  After making the mazaar of Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) Sahaba did not destroy the room.  As a matter of fact it was reinforced and ultimately a large tomb was built on Raudhatun Nabi (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam).
This indicates that it was the practice of the Sahaba to bury Prophet (a.s.) and Caliphs inside a room which is but a constructed shrine. The tomb of  Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) is the greatest proof of this practice. 

In fact, the permissibility of tombs is evident from verse 21 of Surat al-Kahf of the Holy Qur’an which says:
Thus did We make their case known to the people, that they might know that the promise of Allah is true, and that there can be no doubt about the Hour of Judgment. Behold, they dispute among themselves as to their affair. (Some) said, “Construct a building over them”: Their Lord knows best about them: those who prevailed over their affair said, “Let us surely build a place of worship over them.” (Quran 18:21)
The righteous Islamic scholars have explained this verse in their exegeses as follows:
1. Imam Jalal ud-din Suyuti (Rehmatullah Alaih) and Al Muhalli (Rehmatullah Alaih) explain in Tafsir al Jalalyn: They were disputing, that is, the believers and the disbelievers, among themselves their affair, the affair of the youths, with regard to building something around them [as a monument]; so they, the disbelievers, said, ‘Build over them, that is, around them, a building, to cover them up; their Lord knows them best.’ Those who prevailed regarding their affair, the affair of the youths, “NAMELY THE BELIEVERS”…. We will verily set up over them, around them, a place of worship’, for prayers to be performed therein. And this indeed took place at the entrance of the cave.[Tafsir al Jalalyn, Volume No.1, Page No. 389]
2. Imam Abu Hayyan al Andalusi (reh. d.745/1344)  has explained that it was a “Kafir” woman who wanted a building, namely a Church,  to be made over  them where deeds of Kufr could take place;  however,  the Momineen stopped her and made a Masjid over there instead [Tafsir Bahr al Muheet, Volume No. 7, Page No. 158]
3. Imam Nasafi (reh. d.710/1310) writes in his Tafsir al Nasafi:  {Those who prevailed over their affair} these are the “MUSLIMS AND THE RULERS” who said to build over them i.e. on the door of cave a Masjid so that “MUSLIMS CAN PRAY IN IT AND SEEK TABARRUK” [Tafsir al Nasafi, Volume No.3, Page No. 18]
4. Allama Ibn Jawzi (reh. 508-597 AH) who is considered the most strict scholar and revered highly by Salafis,  states in his Tafsir under 18:21: Ibn Qutayba (Rehmatullah Alaih) said that the Mufasireen said: People who made Masjid were the (Muslim) King and his Momineen companions [Tafsir Zaad ul Maseer, Volume No. 5, Page No.124]
5. Qadi Thana Ullah Panipatti (Rahimuhullah) writes in his great Tafsir al Mazhari: After the death of Ashaab al Kahf a dispute occurred between Muslims and non-Muslims, The Muslims said that they will make a Masjid over them because they were of our faith whereas the disbelievers said they will build other buildings on it where people will live….This Ayah proves that Mosques can  be made near graves of Awliya in order to say salaat in them;  Tabarruk is also attained through the tombs of Awliya [Tafsir al Mazhari Volume No.7, Page No. 123-124]
6. Imam Hakim (reh. Rehmatullah Alaih) said in his Tafsir:  {Those who prevailed over their affair} refers to the “MOMINEEN” and they prevailed over this matter in that time [Tafsir al Wahidi under 18:21]
7. Ibn kathir in his tafsir writes:  “When the people of the cave went into the cave, some people close to the entrance of the cave said, ‘Build a mosque so we can worship Allah.’ The people who said this were Muslims” [Tafsir Tabari, Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Sura al-Kahf, verse 21]
8. Imam Fakhrud'deen Razi (rah) writes: Some people said that the door of the cave should be closed so that nobody can enter it and the Ahwaal (of Ashab e Kahf) are kept hidden. Some people said that It is better to build a mosque at the door, this saying proves that these people were “ARIFEEN OF ALLAH WHO BELIEVED IN WORSHIPPING AND PRAYER.  Imam al-Razi also said: And when Allah said {Those who prevailed over their affair} this refers to the “MUSLIM RULER” or the Awliya of Ashaab al Kahf (i.e. their momineen friends) or the leaders of town. {We will surely build a Mosque over them} so that we can “WORSHIP ALLAH” in it and due to it we will “PRESERVE THE RELICS OF ASHAAB AL KAHF”  ”[Tafsir al Kabeer, Volume No. 5, PageNo. 475]
9. In "Tafseer Roohul Bayaan", Vol. 3, according to the verse: "To build over the graves of the Ulema, Awliya and the Saliheen is a permissible act with this condition that the motive is that the greatness of these pious people must be made apparent so that the people don't think that it is an ordinary grave."
10.       Imam Shahab ud-din Khafaji (Reh.)wrote:  (Making mosque on cave) ”IS PROOF OF MAKING MOSQUES OVER THE GRAVES OF SALIHEEN” just like It is mentioned in Tafsir al Kashaaf and It is “PERMITTED” to pray inside this construction [Imam Khafaji in Inayatul Qadhi, Volume No. 6, Page No. 87, Published by Dar us Sadir, Beirut, Lebanon]
11.       Tafsir by Imam Baydawi (rah) says: “From this it is understood that to erect a Mausoleum for the special people, i.e. Pious Saints and Ulema, is permissible”. 

Further Proof of building of tombs around a grave:

Narrated by Ibn Umar ® from Prophet (sal Allaho alayhi wasallam) who said: In (fi) the Mosque of al-Khayf there is Qabr of 70 Prophets (together)

Imam al Hafidh Ibn Hajr al Haythami (rah) said: It is narrated by Al-Bazzar and all its narrators are “THIQA” (i.e. Hadith is absolutely sahih) [Majma az Zawaid Volume No.3, Page No.640 Bab fi Masjid al Khayf, Hadith #5769]

Jesus will be buried next to our Prophet’s (may God bless him and grant him peace) Tomb: Jesus, son of Mary, will come down to the world… He will marry, . . . live for 45 years and then die. He will be buried with me [Muhammed a.s.] in my grave. Then I and Jesus, son of Mary, will stand up in one grave between Abu Bakr and `Umar. (Mishkat-ul-Masabih, 40:4) Again, Jesus will marry and have a child after he returns. After he dies, the Muslims will perform his funeral prayer and bury him at the Rauza-i-Aqdas (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, 65)
This hadith itself proves that Hadrat Esa (a.s.) will be buried in Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam)’s tomb along with him.

As stated in Kitab al-Athar which was the first book composed after the generation of the Companions,  Muhammad said: Abu Hanifa informed us saying that Salim al-Astaf  (d.132 AH) narrated to us saying ” There is no Prophet who has not  fled from its people towards the kaaba to worship Allah, and around it there are graves of 300 Prophets.[pg 150, Kitab al-Athar of Imam al-Shaybani as published by Turath Publishing in London.]

Also, Muhammad said: Abu hanifa informed us saying that Ata ibn as saib narrated to us saying the graves of Prophet Hud, Salih and Shuaib [a.s.] are in Masjid Al-Haram.  [In pg 150,Kitab al-Athar of Imam al-Shaybani as published by Turath Publishing in London]

Next the Salafi scholar, al-Shawkani, admitted that the Salaf  and Khalaf built up the graves high but added in his Nayl al-Awtar that it was Haraam!  The Amir al-San`ani in Subul al-Salam said: "The Jumhur - vast majority - hold that the prohibition of building up and plastering graves is one of preference (tanzih) [i.e. not strictness (tahrim)]."  According to Islamic scholars, “there are differences of opinion among Imams of fiqh about the size and shape of the grave.  All Imams and scholars are right in their opinions.  Those who say that the grave should be around one feet higher from the ground and flattened, actually refer to the graves of general Muslims in a common graveyard whose bodies get decomposed over a period of time. Those who say that the grave should be higher, elevated and rounded above the ground, refer to the graves of Prophets, Sahabah and Awliya Allah.  This is important because the bodies of Prophets, Sahabah and Awliya Allah remain fresh and intact in their graves.  Therefore, we should make arrangement that the grave is considerably higher from the ground so that rain water does not seep into the grave. In Part 2 of our subject, we have seen the details of the martyrs bodies being dug up freshly from the grave and that is why it is not being repeated it.  It is also historically known that pursuant to a dream Sultan Nuruddin Zangi (1118-1174 c.e.) personally visited Madina Munawwara to thwart the attempts of Christian conspirators who had in fact dug a tunnel to steal the blessed body of Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam).  He recognized their faces as they had been revealed to him by the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) in that dream.  The Sultan had had very deep trenches dug around the blessed grave and these were filled with molten pewter or lead so that none could reach the blessed grave from underneath.  We also know that in 1932 A.D. (1351 A.H.) the then ruling King of Iraq Shah Faisal I, dreamt that he was being addressed by Hudhaifa al-Yamani, who said :- "O king ! Remove Jabir ibn Abdullah Ansari and me from the bank of river Tigris and bury us at some safe place because my grave is already water-logged,  while Jabir's grave is slowly getting water-logged." We need not repeat the details here about how they were shifted to a safer location. 
These are the graves of those who are the beloved of Allah (swt), and therefore it is important  that they are surrounded by grills, walls and roof to protect them from buffalo, dogs and other wandering animals.”  The fact remains unshaken that building elevated graves of Sahaba ® and Awliya-Allah has been the practice of the Salaf and the Khalaf for over fourteen centuries - as has been admitted by Imam Al-Shawkani. 
Mullah Ali Qari (reh.) writes: Anyone who builds a mosque near the grave of an upright person or prays in the tomb (Maqbara) or intends to ask for help through the Ruh of that upright person or intends to seek barakah from his left overs, If he does all that without the intention of giving him Tazeem or doing tawajuh towards him ( in prayer) “Then there is nothing wrong in that, don’t you see that Grave of Hadrat Ismail(A.S) is inside the Masjid ul Harram near the hateem and to Pray there is Superior than anything else ” however to pray near the graves is only forbidden when the soil becomes dirty because of Najasat of deceased… In the Hateem near Hajr al Aswad and Mizaab there are “Graves of 70 Prophets” [Mirqat, Sharh al Mishqaat, Volume No. 2, Page No. 202]
Mullah Ali Qari also said:  The early Muslims (Salaf) have considered it Mubah (i.e. allowed) to build over the graves of famous Mashaikh and Ulama so that people can visit them and sit there (easily) [Mirqaat Sharh al Mishqaat, Volume No. 4, Page No. 69]
The famous commentator of Sahih Bukhari and leading scholar in sight of Sunnis and Salafis/wahhabis, Imam Ibn Hajr al Asqalani (rah) writes in his magnificent Fath ul Bari: In view of the fact that the Jews and Christians were taking the graves of their Prophets as their qibla for the purpose of respect, and were paying attention towards them at the time of their prayers, their graves took the position of idols. For this reason the Muslims have been forbidden from this action. However, if someone constructs a mosque near the grave of a pious person for the purpose of seeking tabarruk and not for prostration or paying attention towards them, he will never be included in this prohibition.( Ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani, Fath al-bari, vol. 3, p. 208)
Thus the Prophets, Mashaikh and Saliheen do not come under the prohibition because the grave of Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam), Abu Bakr ®, Umar ® and many other Prophets and Saliheen have remained “BUILT OVER”.
Next, according to a hadith narrated by Abu Bakr bin ‘Aiyash ®, Sufyan at-Tammar ® told me that he had seen the Grave of Prophet (sal Allah alayhi wasallam) elevated and convex.  [Bukhari, Book No.23, Hadith No.473] Ibn Hajar said in Fath al-Bari (3:256=1959 ed. 3:223): "Al-Bukhari narrated this Hadith with its (sound) chain in al-Tarikh al-Saghir (1:42)".
The above Hadith clearly establishes the fact that it is Sunnah to make the graves of Sahabah and Awliya Allah higher and elevated from the ground and prominent to keep them as memorials for the following generations. 

"Sheikh `Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulsi says in Kashf al-Nur`an Ashab al-Qubur (The Unveiling of Light from the Occupants of the Graves) the sum of which is that a good innovation that agrees with the objectives of the Sacred Law is called a sunna. Thus, building domes over the graves of scholars, friends of Allah (awliya) and the righteous and placing covers, turbans and cloth over them is permissable if the objective there-in is to create reverence in the eyes of ordinary people so they won't disdain the occupant of that grave". 
It is a Sunnah to build tombs/shrines around the graves of Prophets (alaih salam) Salaf-as-Saaliheen ® and Awliya al-Ikraam (reh).  Although for public graveyards and ordinary muslims it is not allowed. The shrines are not established to oppose Allah as the Wahhabi propangadists say they oppose Allah, but rather they remind us of Allah as we already noted in our previous posts.  It is also important to visit these pious graves for Dua.  If you remove these important memorials, then you will deprive the entire Ummah of the Dua of these pious souls. 
In the words of Hajj Gibril:  The reply to the claim of a close relationship 'between graves exaltation and rearing the causes that lead to associating other gods -no matter how minor and in whatever form - with Allah Almighty' is that this is gibberish by and for unthinking minds. {And speak not, concerning that which your own tongues qualify (as clean or unclean), the falsehood: ‘This is lawful, and this is forbidden,’ so that ye invent a lie against Allah. Lo! those who invent a lie against Allah will not succeed.}
To continue, Insha Allah…

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