Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
I have read that Imam Ahmad saw no harm in kissing and touching the grave of the Prophet (may Allah ). Imam Ahmad even asked for blessings by touching the pulpit and the Prophet’s room, saying he saw nothing wrong in it.
However, I have heard from others that this is a Bid’a.
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate
I hope you’re doing well, insha’Allah.
The adab of visiting graves is explained in a number of SeekersGuidance Answers. (See below.)
The General Principle: Uphold Sunna and Adab
In general, one would act with the adab and restraint with the dead as one would with the living.
Thus, it isn’t in itself proper manners to kiss or rub the grave. Believing such acts to be sunna or specifically recommended in the religion would make this belief an innovation. [Zurqani, Sharh al-Mawahib al-Ladunniyya; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Bajuri, Hashiyat Sharh Ibn Qasim; others]
Kissing or Touching Out of Love
However, someone simply kissing or touching the grave if overcome by love is excused.
This is how we understand the actions of many of the Companions (such as the esteemed Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (Allah be pleased with him)) and Early Muslims who are soundly related to have done so. This is what Imam Ahmad and others saw no harm in. [Dhahabi, Siyar; other]
To be clear: “One avoids the practices not established in the sunna,” [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.
[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus, and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.