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Grave Visits

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: My husband offers only Friday prayers and their family belongs to a sect. They visit shrines. Is my marriage valid?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

Yes, your marriage is certainly valid.

Missing prayer is sinful but a person does not become a non-Muslim due to it. You should gently encourage your family to perform their obligatory prayers when the right moment presents itself for presenting such advice.

Similarly, visiting shrines is permissible. It is no different from visiting any other grave.

Marriage is only invalidated through divorce, annulment, a khul’, or the apostasy of one of the spouses. The latter case has a very high threshold. We do not rule Muslims as disbelievers unless there is decisive and clear evidence in that regard. The issues you mention do not relate to belief/disbelief.

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas was born and raised in New York and graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. Ustadh Salman’s personal interests include research into the fields of law/legal methodology, hadith, theology, as well as political theory, government, media, and ethics. He is also an avid traveler and book collector. He currently resides in Amman with his wife.

I Pay the Electricity Bill of a Mosque. What Is the Reward?

Answered by Shaykh Sulayman Van Ael

Question: Assalam alaykum,

Is there any hadith regarding the reward for providing lightning for a mosque? Is it valid to make intention to pay the electricity bill for the mosque as a mean to provide lighting for the believers so that Allah may put light in my grave?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

Dear questioner about light on the day of resurrection,

No direct proof

There is no direct proof that states that Allah will provide he who provides light for the mosque, with light.

Indirect proof

It is known that Muhammad – peace and blessings be upon him – said: “Actions will be rewarded in harmony with the intention behind them.” And – peace and blessings be upon him – said: “The water of Zamzam will result in that what it was drunk for.” (This is a sound hadith, declared authentic by as-Suyuti, Ibn Hajar, Ibn Khuzayman, Ibn Hummam, ad-Daylami, al-Khatib al-Baghdadi and others)

The early muslims and their understanding of these indirect proofs

Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi drunk from Zam-Zam with three intentions. Ibn Khuzayma was asked where he got his knowledge from. He said: because of the du’a he made while drinking from zam-zam. Others drunk from zam-zam with the intention not to experience any form of thirst on the day of the resurrection.

Be sincere

If you are sincere in what you want, then Allah will give you what you ask for. In the time of the Prophet – peace and blessings be upon him – a man wanted to die in a certain way. And it did take place exactly as he said. Muhammad – peace and blessing be upon him – said: “He was sincere with Allah so Allah gave him what he was longing for.”

Conclusion

If you do this with the intention that Allah will give you light on the day of resurrection, then I believe that all these general proofs and many others that I did not mention show us that you will get what you long for as long as you are sincere.

Better vs. best

I still think that the best thing is to leave things up to Allah. He knows best what we need most. Maybe it is not light in your grave that you need most, but something else.

Worship is for Allah alone

The best thing is to do good because it pleases Allah, and not to think about the reward. That Allah chose you to be that element in this universe through which He wants to be worshipped is the biggest reward and most generous Divine present.

I ask Allah to take us by the hand to everything that pleases Him, amin.

Wassalam
[Shaykh] Sulayman Van Ael

Shaykh Sulayman Van Ael
received ijazah from various luminaries in the ten Qur’anic readings, in Ihya Ulum al-Din, in the major books of hadith, in different texts in Guelph classical Islamic sciences–including grammar, tafsir, fiqh, and usul.

On the Journey through the Grave, by Shaykh Samir al-Nass

Death and the afterlife is something extremely difficult to think about, not because it’s a fearful subject but because it’s so hard to imagine the journey through the afterlife. In this world, we are connected to the people around us. However, after death, we will be cut off from everyone around us. Listen to Shaykh Samir al-Nass talk about the soul’s journey through the grave and afterlife.

We are grateful to the Ha Meem Foundation for this recording.

Resources for Seekers

Do Seeking Intercession (Tawassul), Visiting Shrines, and Other Popular Practices Have a Basis in Our Religion?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: As salam alaykum,

Many people go to a tomb of a saint and ask for a child or a job. Some may even prostrate in its direction. Is it tawassul? Is building a shrine over a grave ok? Can the saint help from his grave? What is the meaning of calling out a saint?

Answer: Walaikum assalam,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

Tawassul itself is making dua to Allah Most High, Himself, through the means (wasila) of one of rank and regard with Him—such as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Its basis is from the Qur’an itself, from Allah’s call to, “Seek a means (wasila) to Him.” [Qur’an, 5.35] And it is established from a number of hadiths of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), including the “Hadith of the Blind Man.”

Shaykh Nuh Keller writes:

Tirmidhi relates, through his chain of narrators from ‘Uthman ibn Hunayf, that a blind man came to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and said, “I’ve been afflicted in my eyesight, so please pray to Allah for me.” The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “Go make ablution (wudu), perform two rak’as of prayer, and then say:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ وَأَتَوَجَّهُ إِلَيْكَ بِنَبِيِّكَ مُحَمَّدٍ نَبِيِّ الرَّحْمَةِ ، يَا مُحَمَّدُ إِنِّي تَوَجَّهْتُ بِكَ إِلَى رَبِّي فِي حَاجَتِي هَذِهِ فَتُقْضَى لِي ، اللَّهُمَّ شَفِّعْهُ فِيَّ

“Oh Allah, I ask You and turn to You through my Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy; O Muhammad (Ya Muhammad), I seek your intercession with my Lord for the return of my eyesight [and in another version: “for my need, that it may be fulfilled. O Allah, grant him intercession for me”].”

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) added, “And if there is some need, do the same.” See the full Answer here: Tawassul: Supplicating Allah through an Intermediary

The Other Issues Mentioned

As for the other issues mentioned, we have to distinguish between what is soundly established from Prophetic teachings, as understood by mainstream scholars—as represented by the four schools of Islamic law (fiqh)—and popular practices that may mix sound and unsound matters. This includes visiting graves (a recommended sunna) itself, as opposed to some questionable practices that may be found in some contexts.

Please see:

The Loss of Meaning: The Destruction of Muslim Holy Sites

Libyan Graves – Shaykh Musa Furber

Is It Permissible to Make Tawassul Through Awliya (Saints)?

Prostrating to Other Than Allah

Is it permissible to erect gravestones at graves for identification?

The Ruling on Women Visiting Graves and Etiquettes of Visiting

Women Visiting Graveyards & Donating Reward to the Deceased

Can the Dead Hear Us?
Manners of Visiting the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)

Supplicating Through an Intermediary and Calling the Prophet “Master”

wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

Can the Dead Hear Us?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum,

Can those buried in their grave hear us when we visit their grave, speak to them, or make du’a for them? Does it differ if they died Muslim or non-Muslim?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

Yes, the deceased can hear the living when addressed by them, by the enablement of Allah Most High, as affirmed by numerous traditions (hadiths) of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

Muslim recorded that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said upon visiting a graveyard, “Peace be upon you abode of a believing people, we, if Allah wills, will surely catch up to you.”

And it is reported that he said (Allah bless him and give him peace), “There is not a person who passes by the grave of his fellow believer whom he used to know in this life, and sends greetings (i.e. salam) upon him, except that he recognises him and returns his greetings.” [Ibn `Abd al-Barr, al-Istidhkar, as related by al-`Iraqi in his Takhrij al-Ihya’]

This understanding is affirmed by numerous scholars such as Suyuti in his al-Hawi li’l Fatawa, Ibn al-Qayyim in his Kitab al-Ruh, Mulla `Ali al-Qari in his Mirqat al-Mafatih, Ibn Hajar al-Haytami in his al-Fatawa al-Fiqhiyya al-Kubra, and many others.

As for supplicating for non-Muslims after they have died, please see the following: Can We Pray for Non-Muslims Who Passed Away?

And see also: Donating Reward to the Dead: A Detailed Answer and: What Is the Proper Etiquette in Giving Condolences to the Family of a Deceased Who Is Non-Muslim? and: Dealing with Death: Inward & Outward Manners

And Allah alone gives success

wassalam,
Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is It Permitted to Bury Multiple People Within the Same Grave?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam’aleykum,

Are we allowed to bury the deceased at 9 ft and the next one at 6 ft within the same grave?

Is there a waiting period between the first burial and the second one?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

The basis is that it is not permitted to bury multiple people within the same grave unless there is a necessity (darura) to do so.

This has been the general sunna from the time of the Prophet Adam (Allah bless him and give him peace), and it is also the way the sanctity and respect for the body of the believer is preserved after his death.

However, permitting reasons for burying multiple people in one grave would include a lack of space in the only available cemetery, or a lack of people and resources in order to be able to make multiple graves, for instance.

It is related from Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, buried together two of those killed in the Battle of Uhud. [Bukhari]

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Tahtawi, Hashiyat al-Tahtawi `ala Maraqi al-Falah, quoting from Ibn Amir Haj’s Halbat al-Mujalli]

If there is a need to practically apply this ruling, you should consider consulting some local scholars who can guide and assist with some other details and sunnas.

Please also see: Is It Permissible to Reuse Graves?

And Allah alone gives success.

في حاشية الطحطاوي على المراقي: ومن الضرورة المبيحة لجمع ميتين فصاعدا في قبر واحد ابتداء على ما ذكره ابن أمير حاج قلة الدافنين أو ضعفهم أو اشتغالهم بما هو أهم وليس منها دفن الرجل مع الرجل قريبه ولا ضيق محل الدفن في تلك المقبرة مع وجود غيرها وإن كانت تلك المقبرة مما يتبرك بالدفن فيها لمجاورة الصالحين فضلا عن هذه الأمور لما غيه من هتك حرمة الميت الأول وتفريق أجزائه فيمنع من ذلك اهـ.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is It Permissible to Reuse Graves?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum,

Is it permissible to reuse graves by placing another deceased at a later time? And is it possible to reuse the land for another purpose ?

We are experiencing some issues in the UK and coming under some pressure on this subject. The ‘leasing’ of a grave has been reduced from 99 years to 50 but there is also increasing threat to re-use graveyeard for other purposes.

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

After the body has decomposed, it is permitted to bury another person within the same grave, or even cultivate the land or build upon it. [Zayla`i, Tabyin al-Haqa’iq; Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar]

We would need experts to determine how much time is needed for a body to decompose in the specific climate and land conditions of the place in question.

Please also see: Answers related to Graves

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is it Permitted to Place Flowers on a Grave, or is this an Innovation (Bid`a) in Islam?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Asalamu ‘Aleykum

Is it bid’a or wrong in any way to place flowers on a family grave? There is much argument about this issue in my family.

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
It is permitted to put flowers on a grave.
However, it may be superior to plant something, as opposed to merely place it on the grave, so it can live longer and increase in its benefit to the deceased.
Ibn ‘Abbas said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, passed by a garden in Madina or Makka and heard the voices of two people who were being tortured in their graves. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, remarked, ‘They are being tortured and are not being punished for anything very great.’ Then he said, ‘Rather one of them did not guard himself from urine and the other was involved in back-biting.’ Then he called for a leafless palm branch and broke it into two pieces and put one on each grave. He was asked, ‘Messenger of Allah, why did you do this?’ He said, ‘Perhaps their torture will be lightened for them for as long as these do not dry up – or until they dry up.'”[Bukhari]
Whilst commentating on this tradition (hadith), Mulla `Ali al-Qari writes in his Mirqat al-Mafatih, “Thus, some of the imams of our later scholars have issued legal verdicts (fatwa) which state that it is a sunna to place palm branches and myrtle on the grave as people are accustomed to.” [Qari, Mirqat al-Mafatih, also quoted with discussion by Tahtawi in his marginal notes (hashiya) on Maraqi al-Falah]
Ibn `Abidin also comments on this saying, “What is taken from the tradition is the recommendation of placing them [= palm stalk] in following the Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). Analogy can be made from this for what people customarily do in our times by placing myrtle boughs and the like. A number of the Shafi`is concurred.” [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar]
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Is it permissible to erect gravestones at graves for identification?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: The only Muslim cemetery where I live is  controlled by a mosque of a different islamic sensibility. We have been trying to get their leader to allow us to bury our dead with gravestones, but their shaykh says it is shirk. Could you clarify the Hanafi position on gravestones? Can you give me a hadith that shows  the permissibility of gravestones? 
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
It is permitted to erect a gravestone to identify the deceased. [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar]
At the burial of `Uthman ibn Maz`un, it is reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “I am marking my brother’s grave with it [= a stone], and I shall bury beside him those of my family who die.” [Abu Dawud]
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Are We Resurrected from Our Graves or the Place We Died?

Answered by Ustadh Torab Torabi
Question: When we get resurrected, will it be from our graves
or from where we passed away at the time of death?
Answer: Walaikum Asalaam Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh.
Insha Allah this reaches you in the best of inward and outward states.
We will be resurrected from our graves.
Imam al Haddad mentioned in his book, The Lives of Man, that on the Day of Resurrection we shall be brought forth from your graves. He says:
“When God, Who is of mighty Ability, wishes to resurrect mankind, the sky pours down a rain which resembles male sperm, after which hey grow from the places where they were buried, in the way that crops grow. Then He resurrects Israfil, upon whom be peace, and commands him to blow the Horn for the Resurrection. The spirits will then be returned to their bodies and brought back to life, by the leave of God the Exalted.”
And Allah knows best.
Torab Torabi
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani