As-Sunnah Vol. 2 Issue No. 2


The ruling with regards to visiting the grave of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wasallam)

Words of Shaikh Abdul-Aziz Ibn Baz (rahimahullah)                                       

Warning (concerning the ruling of visiting the grave of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam)
Visiting the Prophet’s grave is neither wajib (obligatory) nor shart (a condition) of Hajj, as some of the common people think. Rather, it is mustahabb (highly recommended) for the one who visits the Prophet’s mosque or is near it.

As for those who are far from Medina, it is not allowed for them to undertake a journey with the intention of visiting the grave (of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). It is a sunnah for them to undertake the journey with the intention of (praying in the Prophet’s) mosque. And once he has reached it, he may visit the blessed grave (of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and the graves of the two companions. Thus, visit to the grave of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and the two companions will be (performed) along with the visit to the Prophet’s Mosque and this is based upon the report in the saheehayn that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, ‘Do not undertake journey but to three mosques; this mosque of mine, the mosque of al-Haraam and the mosque of Aqsa (Bait al-Maqdis).’ [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim] *13

If it was allowed to travel with the intention of visiting the grave of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) or the grave of someone else, then the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) would have informed his Ummah about it and it’s virtues, because he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) advised and informed them about Allah and persuaded them to be humble towards Him. The Clear Message has been delivered and he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) has informed his Ummah of every good and warned them against every evil and he has warned them against setting off one’s journey except to the three mosques and he said, ‘Do not make your houses graves, and do not make my grave an ‘eid’ (place of gathering). But invoke blessings on me, for your blessings reach me wherever you may be.’ [See, Saheeh Sunan Abu Dawood vol.1, no.1796] *14
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Translator's Notes                

*13: The Prohibition of Traveling for worship to other than the Three Mosques
The hadeeth, 'Do not undertake journey but to three mosques’, prohibits all journeys for the sake of worship (i.e. pilgrimages) except to the three mosques. This prohibition also includes traveling to specific graves or tombs for worship.
It is mentioned in Musnad Ahmad, while returning from a trip, Abu Basrah al-Ghifaree met Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) and the latter asked him where he was coming from. Abu Basrah replied that he was coming back from (Mount) at-Toor where he had performed prayer. Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) said, ‘If only I had caught you before you had set out, for I heard Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) say, ‘Do not travel except to three Masaajid; al-Masjid al-Haraam (in Mecca), the Prophet's (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) Masjid and Masjid al-Aqsa.' [Musnad Ahmad. Authenticated by Shaikh al-Albanee in Ahkaam al-Janaa'iz p.226]
Abu Qaz'ah also related that he had wanted to go to at-Toor, but when he asked Ibn Umar (radhi allahu anhu) about it, he quoted the Prophet's prohibition of (religious) travel to other than the three mosques. [Collected by al-Azraqee in Akhbaar Makkah, p.304, and authenticated in Ahkaam al-Janaa'iz, p.226]
These two narrations show that the sahabah understood the prohibition in the Hadeeth to include all places, including Mount at-Toor.

*14: The Meaning of taking the Prophet's Grave as an ‘Eid’
The Arabic word 'eid' has two meanings;
(a) visiting a place repeatedly,
(b) the place or a day of festivals or celebrations.

Both these meanings assist in the understanding of the hadeeth that this hadeeth prohibits all unnecessary traveling, festivities and celebrations at the grave of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam).
Ibn Hajar al-Haythami said in Sharh al-Mishkaat, ‘eid is the name of one of the festivals, and it was said that it means returning and repeating, until it becomes a habit ['aadah]. What is meant is, do not make my grave a place to which you have the habit of coming back repeatedly and often. Hence, he said, 'Send blessings upon me for your greeting will reach me no matter where you are,' because that is sufficient and there is no need to visit his grave frequently.

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter -


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