Building masjids on graves of pious people
Sunna or Bidah?
Just to explain what this is for those who don't know of this bidah. In many Muslim countries around the world they build Masjids on the graves of pious people, these are sometimes called temples, or a "darghah" or Mizar etc.. And people go to these and ask the dead person to give them a child or whatever they need. Now asking anyone but Allah (swt) for anything is of course bidah and shirk but that is a separate issues first here we want to clear up that from the Quran and very clear Sahih hadith that we are NOT supposed to build structures or masjids on the graves of pious people.
Opinions of scholars
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In the light of Quran
In the light of Hadith
Sahih Al-Bukhair Volume 1, Book
8, Hadith # 419
Narrated 'Aisha (RAA) Um Habiba (RAA) and Um Salama (RAA) mentioned about a church they had seen in Ethiopia in which there were pictures. They told the Prophet (SAW) about it, on which he said, "If any religious man dies amongst those people they would build a place of worship at his grave and make these pictures in it. They will be the worst creature in the sight of Allah on the Day of Resurrection."
Sahih Muslim Book 4, Hadith # 2116
Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah (RAA) Rasulullah (SAW) forbade that the graves should be plastered, or they be used as sitting places (for the people), or a building should be built over them. note: This hadith makes it very clear that we are NOT supposed to build ANYTHING over them. May Allah (swt) save us many of the Muslim today build strong plastered graves and this is against the order of Rasulullah (SAW)!
Sahih Al-Bkhari Volume 1, Book 8,
Hadith # 427
Narrated 'Aisha (RAA) and 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas (RAA) When the last moment of the life of Allah's Apostle (SAW) came he started putting his 'Khamisa' on his face and when he felt hot and short of breath he took it off his face and said, "May Allah curse the Jews and Christians for they built the places of worship at the graves of their Prophets." The Prophet (SAW) was warning (Muslims) of what those had done.
Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 1, Book
8, Hadith # 428
Narrated Abu Huraira (RAA) Rasulullah (SAW) said, "May Allah's curse be on the Jews for they built the places of worship at the graves of their Prophets."
Sahih Muslim Book 4, Number 1083
Narrated Jundub ibn Abdullah (RAA) "I heard from the Apostle of Allah (SAW) five days before his death and he said: I stand acquitted before Allah that I took anyone of you as friend, for Allah has taken me as His friend, as he took Ibrahim as His friend. Had I taken any one of my Ummah as a friend, I would have taken AbuBakr as a friend. Beware of those who preceded you and used to take the graves of their prophets and righteous men as places of worship, but you must not take graves as mosques; I forbid you to do that.
Sahih Muslim Book 4, Hadith # 2121
Narrated AbuMarthad al-Ghanawi (RAA) Allah's Messenger (SAW) said: Do not sit on the graves and do not pray facing towards them.
With the understanding of the great Scholars
Shaikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
Question: A graveyard had been endowed for the burial of Muslims, and someone built a mosque with a mihrab in it. Is this permissible? Should it be knocked down?
Answer: Praise be to Allaah. "It is not permissible for him to do that, and it should be knocked down. (Words of Imaam al-Nawawi)."Taking graves as mosques or places of worship is one of the customs of the Jews with whom Allaah is angry. Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “May Allaah destroy the Jews! They have taken their graves as places of worship.” (Agreed upon). Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed the women who visit graves and those who build mosques over them and place lamps on them.” Some of them claim that this was because at that time they were still close to the time when people had worshipped idols, but Ibn Daqeeq al-‘Eed refuted this argument. This indicates that it is haraam to place lamps on graves because this could lead to false beliefs.
In addition to the issue of building mosques over graves, this person's actions also involve going against the conditions set by the one who endowed this land. Moreover, he is denying the Muslim dead space in which to be buried. Adding any extra structure over a grave as the ignorant people among the Muslims do is haraam, as stated by the fuqaha’ and ‘ulama’, let alone building mosques over graves. So the imaam (Imaam al-Nawawi) ruled that whatever mosques had been built over the graves should be torn down. (Comment in the margin of Fataawa al-Imaam al-Nawawi, p. 65).
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