Visiting Graves

It is recommended to visit the graves for the purpose of getting admonishment and remembering the hereafter. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said: "I forbade you from visiting graves, but now you may visit them, for in visiting them there is a reminder of the hereafter." It is totally forbidden to associate the visit with anything that would anger Allah (s.w.t), such as supplicating to the dead, invoking their assistance, wailing, or other types of shirk and sinful actions. Difference of opinion exists amongst Muslim scholars concerning the permissibility of women visiting graves. The soundest opinion and Allah knows best is that they are allowed to visit the graves. This is the opinion of Imam Malik, some Hanafi scholars, al-Hafiz ibn Hajar, al-'Ayni, and according to one report from Ahmad. This view is based on several reports including the above-mentioned hadith, whereby the Prophet's (s.a.w) statement recommending to visit the graves is addressed to both males and females. It is also centered on the hadith of 'Abdullah ibn Abi Mulaikah who said: "Once, 'Aishah returned after visiting the graveyard.

I asked, 'O Mother of the Believers, where have you been?' She said: 'I went out to visit the grave of my brother Abdur-Rahmaan.' I asked her: 'Didn't the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) prohibit visiting graves?' She said: 'Yes, he did forbid visiting graves during the early days, but later on he ordered us to visit them.'" Another hadith that supports this view is the hadith in which Aishah (r.a) asks the Prophet (s.a.w) about what to say when she visits the graveyard. The Prophet (s.a.w) replies with a supplication to say, and does not advise her otherwise. Also in the hadith collected by Bukhari and Muslim, the Prophet (s.a.w) passed by a woman crying by the grave of her son. He advised her to fear Allah and be patient…Had it been forbidden for women to visit graves, Allah's Messenger (s.a.w) would have told her that, as it is not from the character of the Prophet (s.a.w) to keep silent about prohibited actions. Although it is allowed for women to visit graves, it is not recommended that they visit frequently. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said: "Allah (or Allah's Messenger) curses the women who frequently (visit) the graves." Muslims are allowed to visit the graves of disbelievers for reflection, however they are not allowed to participate in the funeral rites of non-Muslims.

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