Visiting Graves

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Visiting Graves
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Visiting the graves of Muslims, in particular, those of relatives and friends, is an established practice in Islam, one which brings about definite positive effects. For instance, the very witnessing of the stillness of the graveyard, coming to the place where the light of life of human beings has been extinguished, is a moving experience and contains a lesson for those willing to learn. Such persons may say to themselves: This transient life, whose end is to lie hidden beneath shovels of earth, is not worth wasting through unjust acts, They then might take a fresh look at their own lives and reform their spiritual and mental attitudes. The Holy Prophet said:

'Visit the graves, for truly this will remind you of the Hereafter. '[1]

The very witnessing of the stillness of the graveyard, coming to the place where the light of life of human beings has been extinguished, is a moving experience and contains a lesson for those willing to learn. Such persons may say to themselves: This transient life, whose end is to lie hidden beneath shovels of earth, is not worth wasting through unjust acts, They then might take a fresh look at their own lives and reform their spiritual and mental attitudes.

In addition, the visiting of the graves of the great personages in our religion is a kind of propagation both of the faith and of the holy sites. The attention paid by people to the graves of these great souls strengthens the idea that it is the spirituality of these great ones that gives rise to this desire, on the part of others, to visit their graves; whilst those who possessed great power and wealth, but were devoid of spirituality, are simply buried in the earth and nobody pays hem any attention.

In addition, the visiting of the graves of the great personages in our religion is a kind of propagation both of the faith and of the holy sites. The attention paid by people to the graves of these great souls strengthens the idea that it is the spirituality of these great ones that gives rise to this desire, on the part of others, to visit their graves; whilst those who possessed great power and wealth, but were devoid of spirituality, are simply buried in the earth and nobody pays hem any attention.

 

During the last days of his life, the Prophet went to the graveyard of 'Baqi' [in Medina], and prayed for the forgiveness of those in the graves, and then said:

'My Lord has ordered me to come to the graveyard of Baqi' and to pray for forgiveness on behalf of those buried there.' Then he said, 'When you visit them, say: [Greetings of] Peace to those residing in this graveyard, from the Muslims and the believers; may the mercy of God be granted to those of us who have passed away and those who remain behind; and we shall, if God wills, be joining you.'[2]

In books of Hadith, visiting the graves of the saints and religious authorities is given as a strongly recommended practice ( mustahabb mu'akkad); and the Imams of the ahl al-bayt always visited the grave of the Prophet and the graves of the Imams preceding them, inviting their followers to do likewise.

1. lbn Maja, Sunan, vol. 1 (ch. on the visiting of graves), p; 113.
2. Muslim, Sahih, vol. 3 (ch. on what is said when entering graveyards), p. 64.

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Daily Hadith
الإخْوانُ في اللّهِ تعالى تَدُومُ مَودّتُهُم، لِدَوامِ سَبَبِها.
Brothers [whose brotherhood is] for the sake of Allah, enjoy an enduring Amity, due to the firmness of its foundation