Worshipping the Dead – 21 Grave Errors the Grave Worshippers Fall Into

الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين، أما بعد


Shaikh Sulaimaan[1] bin ‘Abdillaah bin Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) said:


Know that due to the building of structures over the graves; corruptions have occurred which cannot be encompassed in detail except by Allaah. That which causes anger for the sake of Allaah with the one who has the fragrance of eemaan in his heart, as was indicated to by Ibn Al-Qayyim and other than him.


So from them: is its habituation for prayer beside it – and the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) has indeed forbidden that.


From them: is to seek out making supplication beside it, and so they say: ‘whoever calls upon Allaah beside the grave of so and so will be responded to’ and: ‘the grave of so and so is an antidote (cure-all) – tried and tested.’ Whilst this is an abominable innovation.


From them: is their assumption that it has an exclusive designation in of itself in repelling tribulation and bringing about favour, so they will say: ‘tribulation is repelled from the people of the cities due to the graves of the righteous who are buried within them.’ And without doubt; this is in opposition to The Book and the Sunnah and the consensus.


From them: is entering into the curse of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) by taking up places of worship over them and kindling lamps over them.[2]


From them: is that it is liable for the building of the mausoleums and the desolation of the mosques – as is the actuality, whilst the religion of Allaah is the very opposite of that.


From them: is their gathering together in order to visit them, as well as the mixing of men with women and that which occurs within that from sexual depravities and abandoning the prayers, and they claim that the occupant of the grave assumes the burdens of it from them. Rather it is well known that the prostitutes drop their fees for harlotry during the days of the visitation to the Mashayikh such as that of Al-Badawi and other than it in order to draw closer to Allaah, The Most High, through that. Can there be a limit after this in disbelief?!


From them: is draping it (the grave) with precious cloth; woven with silk and gold and silver and the like of that.


From them: is appointing treasuries and revenues and religious endowment funds for that which is needed for its repair (overhaul) and the like of that.


From them: is donating wealth and vowing solemn pledges to their keepers who are devoted to them; those that are the very cause of every calamity and disbelief. For it is they who lie to the ignoramus’s and the common people by stating: ‘so and so called upon the occupant of the grave – so he answered him; and he sought deliverance from him – so he rescued him.’ Their intent behind that is the augmentation of vowed pledges and donations unto themselves.[3]


From them: is appointing keepers for them such as the keepers for the idol worshippers (i.e. keepers of the temples that contain idols).


From them: is taking oaths upon Allaah in the supplication by the one who is buried within it.


From them: is that many of the visitors; if he sees a structure built over the grave of the occupant of the grave; he will prostrate before it, and without doubt; this is kufr (disbelief) by the text of The Book and the Sunnah and the consensus of the Ummah. Rather this is the very worship of idols; because prostration to the dome is worship of it.


From them: is vowing unto the one who is buried within it, and appointing a statutory portion of wealth and offspring.


From them: is that the one buried within it is greater in the hearts of the grave worshippers than Allaah – and more feared. Due to this; if you request an oath from one of them by Allaah, The Most High, he will give you what you wish from the oaths – whether false or true. Yet if you sought by way of the occupant of the grave; he would not have the audacity to do so if he is lying. There is no doubt that the worshippers of the idols and graven images – their shirk has not reached this extent.


From them: is asking the deceased to effectuate the requirements and to liberate the distresses and having sincerity for him besides Allaah in the majority of situations.


From them: is the humility at the places of slaughter (battlegrounds) of the dead and crying with veneration and humbleness for those within them – greater than what they do with regard to Allaah in the mosques and in the prayers.


From them: is the preference of it over the best of places and the most beloved of them to Allaah – and it is the mosques, so they believe that the worship and devotion within them is better than the worship and devotion in the mosques, and this is an affair which was not reached even by the shirk of the early ones.[4]


From them: is that which the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) legislated regarding the visiting of the graves, then it is in remembrance of the Hereafter, as he stated:

((Visit the graves, for indeed they remind of the Hereafter))[5]


Likewise showing excellence to the one being visited through asking Allaah to have mercy upon him, and supplicating in his favour and seeking forgiveness and requesting pardon for him. Hence the visitor shows excellence to himself as well as to the deceased, yet the grave worshippers have reversed the affair and inverted the religion[6] and have made the purpose of visitation as: committing shirk with the deceased and of his supplication and supplicating by way of him and asking of him for their needs and for their victory over the enemy and the like of that. So they become such that they are detrimental to their own souls as well as to the deceased.


From them: is the nuisance caused to their occupants with that which the grave worshippers do beside them, for they bother them with that which they do at their graves, and they detest it to the utmost degree of dislike.


From them: is the opposition to Allaah and His Messenger and the incompatibility with that which He legislated regarding it.


From them: is the immense toil amid the great load (encumbrance of wrongdoing) and the colossal sin – along with all of these hugely corrupt acts and other than them which have not been mentioned. They have indeed occurred due to construction over the graves, and this is why you will find that the graves which do not have domes over them; then no one comes to them and they are not accustomed to anything of that which has been mentioned except that which Allaah wills.


So The Master of the legislation is More Knowledgeable of that which would be implied and entailed by this affair, therefore He has been severe in regard to it and has originated (it with precedence) and repeated it and has cursed the one that does it.

Thus goodness and guidance lies in obedience to Him; whilst evil and misguidance is in opposition to Him.



(Taken with slight abridgement from: Tayseer Al-‘Azeez Al-Hameed fee Sharh Kitaab At-Tawheed vol 2 p.679-685)



[1] He was: the Imaam, the Shaikh; Sulaimaan bin ‘Abdillaah bin Shaikh ul Islaam Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab Al-Musharrafee, At-Tameemee. From the prominent scholars of the First Saudi State, he was born in Ad-Dir’iyyah in the year 1200H (1786CE) and studied in the city under the major scholars of the time. He was later sent to Makkah in order to partake in the judiciary there, he remained there after which he returned to Ad-Dir’iyyah and continued with the judiciary. He taught for a period of time in Ad-Dir’iyyah despite the presence of his father and his uncles ­illustrating the extent of his knowledge and their testament to his knowledge. A great many people benefited from his knowledge.

From his students was his own brother, Shaikh ‘Abdur-Raḥmaan bin ‘Abdillaah Aal ash-Shaikh (1219H-1274H) who was exiled to Cairo where he taught the Ḥanbalee Madhab, as well as the great scholar, the Faqeeh, Muhammad bin Sultaan bin Muhammad (1213H-1298H) and a great many others.

Ibn Bishr mentions: “He was (rahimahullaah) an aayah in knowledge, he had a complete understanding of hadeeth and its men and the Saheeh of it and the Hasan and the Da’eef as well as in Fiqh and Tafseer and grammar. He was one who enjoined the good and forbade evil; he would not care for taking the ­reproach of the censurer in the way of Allaah. He would not be taken aback by the greatness of the ruler when commanding good or forbidding evil. Nor would he debilitate the weak that would come to him seeking benefit or seeking his aid. He had many gatherings in teaching and he authored and taught and gave .fataawa. He was set as an example in his time with regard to understanding.”

Shaikh ‘Abdur-Raḥmaan Aal ash-Shaikh (rahimahullaah) said: “the proficient ‘Aalim and the intelligent well known ‘Allaamah, the Faqeeh, the Muhaddith, the Usooli, the Shaikh….the profound ‘Aalim ….no one in his time could write with a pen the like of him in Najd…For he was (rahimahullaah) with all that we have mentioned of him by way of excellence and knowledge; severe in his respect and honour of the inviolabilities of Al-Islaam; and the religion as a whole. He was one who would enjoin the good and forbid the evil, he would not care for taking the reproach of the censurer in the way of Allaah.”

Shaikh Sulaimaan was killed after the siege of Ad-Dir’iyyah in the year 1233H (1818CE). (Abridged from: Al-Imaam Al-Muhaddith Sulaimaan bin ‘Abdillaah p.47-125)

[2] Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “These people who venerate the graves and take them as a place of celebrated visitation, they kindle lamps over them – those that build mosques and cupolas over them, they are at contradiction to that which was commanded by the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and are in opposition to that which he came with. The greatest of that is taking them as mosques and kindling lamps over them, and it is from the major sins, likewise the Fuqahaa (Jurists) from the companions of Ahmad and other than them have made clear its forbiddance.” (Ighaathatul Lahfaan vol 1 p.356)

[3] Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: “So the keepers that are at the graves and their likes; their purpose is to consume the wealth of the people by way of them. Whilst their followers – their purpose is the veneration of their own selves with the people as well as to take their wealth for them.” (Talkhees Kitaab Al-Istighaathah vol 2 p.586)

[4] Ibn Al-Qayyim mentioned that Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said: “Due to this you will find the people of shirk often having humility besides them (the graves), and so they display humbleness and humble submissiveness; and they worship them with their hearts with worship that they do not do the like of in the Houses of Allaah, nor at the time before dawn. Likewise from them are those that prostrate to them, and the majority of them have hope from the blessing of having prayed and supplicated beside it – that which they do not hope for in the mosques.” (Ighaathatul Lahfaan vol 1 p.334)

[5] Reported with this wording by Aboo Nu’aym in his Mustakhraj; it is also reported with a slight difference in wording by Muslim (no.2256)

[6] Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said: “They believe that supplication to the deceased for whom the mausoleum was built as well as seeking rescue from him; is more beneficial for them than supplication to Allaah, The Most High, as well as seeking rescue from Him in the house which was built for Allaah, The Mighty and Majestic. Hence they have given preference to the house which was built for supplication to the creation over that of the house which was built for supplication to The Creator.”  (Talkhees Kitaab Al-Istighaathah vol 2 p.673)

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