Contents > Chapter 5: Visiting Graves > Shirk and the veneration of Graves


Shirk and the veneration of Graves

During the early era of Islam visiting graves was prohibited. The reason behind this prohibition was that Shirk originated among the previous nations with the veneration of righteous people and their graves.[1] To avoid confusion and misguidance visiting graves was only made permissible when the Sahabah (radhi allahu anhu) thoroughly understood the Islamic concept of Tawheed (Allah’s Oneness). Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “I used to forbid you from visiting graves, but now you should visit them, for surely they are reminders of the next life.”[2] So whoever wishes to visit may do so, but don’t say anything false.”[3]

[1] When Umm Habiba and Umm Salamah (radhi allahu anhuma) mentioned a church in Ethiopia that had pictures, Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “If any religious man dies among these people they would build a place of worship at his grave and make these pictures on it. They will be the worst creature with Allah on the Day of Resurrection.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee (Eng. Trans.), vol.1, p.251, no.419, Saheeh Muslim (Eng. Trans.). vol.1, p.268, no.1076), Sunan an-Nasa’ee (al-Masaajid) vol. 1, no. 115, and Musnad Imaam Ahmad vol. 6, no. 51.]

[2] Saheeh Muslim (Eng. Trans.) vol.2, p.463-464, no.2131, Sunan Abu Dawood (Eng. Trans.) vol.2, p.919, no.3229, Sunan an-Nas’ee, Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hambal and al-Baihaqee.

[3] This addition is found in an-Nasa’ee’s narration. See Saheeh Sunan an-Nasa’ee, vol. 2, p.436, no. 1922.