What is the Islamic ruling regarding making the grave of the Prophet (pbuh) as a place of worship?

Is making shrines on graves of the Prophets and respecting them an important part of Islam? Is it done in order to please God and gain his favour?


2 Answers 2


It is not allowed in Islam to take any grave even the Prophet's {Peace Be Upon Him} grave as a place of Worship. The Prophet {Peace Be Upon Him} said that Allah cursed the Jews because they had built places of worship at the graves of their Prophets, here is the hadith in Sahih Bukari narrated by Abu Huraira

It is forbidden to build any kind of structures over any grave,

Narrated Jabir: I heard the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) forbid to sit on the grave, to plaster it with gypsum, and to build any structure over it.

حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ حَنْبَلٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّزَّاقِ، أَخْبَرَنَا ابْنُ جُرَيْجٍ، أَخْبَرَنِي أَبُو الزُّبَيْرِ، أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ جَابِرًا، يَقُولُ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم نَهَى أَنْ يُقْعَدَ عَلَى الْقَبْرِ وَأَنْ يُقَصَّصَ وَيُبْنَى عَلَيْهِ ‏.‏

Sunnan Abi Dawood

The Prophet's {Peace Be Upon Him} grave is in the Masjid yes but it is cut off from the Masjid so it cannot be entered through the Masjid but you have to go out of the Masjid to get to it, His {Peace be Upon Him} grave has a dome on top of it for people to know where the grave is. Worshiping the Grave of the Prophet {Peace Be Upon Him} is forbidden and the Prophet himself even asked Allah to prevent his grave from being Worshiped.

Yes we should respect the Prophet {Peace Be Upon Him} but there is or should be a distinction between respect and worship, worshiping the grave of the Prophet {Peace be Upon Him} is Shirk, and that is no way of respecting the Prophet {Peace Be Upon Him} or even gaining Allah's pleasure.


As a general rule, worshiping of the graves could be counted as a haram/forbidden act. But there is a significant point regarding its ruling that could be related to the intention of the person who says prayer. Actually intention is counted as the reason which specifies it as a halal or haram act (Shirk). As it mentioned before, if you go to the graves to worship them, it could be counted as a haram act. But in the case that you consider them as the mediator between you and Allah (not worshiping them), then it won’t be haram. The following site has elaborated it.

It could be considered from another angle as well. In truth, it couldn't be haram if you solely intend to say prayer beside those graves as holy places (or shrines). Actually their intention is for God and they just selected them as some holy places of saint individual(s) which can better for worshipping Allah through that holy situation more than common situations, not as idol (as if some groups strive to pretend/accuse us/them as if we regard them as idol! ...). Since as a usual rule, the place of the worshiping is significant as well and it could be better if your place be saint. So we can invoke the Surah al-Kahf (verse 21th) that says:

وَكَذَٰلِكَ أَعْثَرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ لِيَعْلَمُوا أَنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّـهِ حَقٌّ وَأَنَّ السَّاعَةَ لَا رَيْبَ فِيهَا إِذْ يَتَنَازَعُونَ بَيْنَهُمْ أَمْرَهُمْ ۖ فَقَالُوا ابْنُوا عَلَيْهِم بُنْيَانًا ۖ رَّبُّهُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِهِمْ ۚ قَالَ الَّذِينَ غَلَبُوا عَلَىٰ أَمْرِهِمْ لَنَتَّخِذَنَّ عَلَيْهِم مَّسْجِدًا ﴿٢١

And similarly, we caused them to be found that they [who found them] would know that the promise of Allah is truth and that of the Hour there is no doubt. [That was] when they disputed among themselves about their affair and [then] said, "Construct over them a structure. Their Lord is most knowing about them." Said those who prevailed in the matter, "We will surely take [for ourselves] over them a Masjid."

This verse mentions it as a permissible practice. So it is related to the verse 21 Surah Al-Kahf, this verse clearly declares that the believers insisted on building a mosque over the cemetery of the people in the cave, so there was no criticism or objection of that in the holy Quran. If this practice contradicts with the principles and creed of religion, the holy Quran would have rebuked them for doing that, and would refer to their deviancy from fact.

As another reason, paying attention to this issue could be profitable to know that Shias have a due (a Mustahab or recommended dua) that when they intent to say prayer, they recite it at first. It consists of:

وجّهت وجهي للذي فطر السماوات والأرض، عالم الغيب و الشهادة، حنيفاً مسلماً و ما أنا من المشرکين، اِنّ‏ صلاتي ونسکي ومحياي ومماتي للَّه رب العالمين، لا شريک له و بذلک أمرت و أنا من المسلمين .

(I've come to the lord who is creator of the heavens and the earth …, verily my prayers and worship are for Allah and he has no partner…)

Hence by paying attention the above-mentioned dua, we see that their intention is for all Allah.

Or as another reply to those group of people who accuse some other people that they are doing it as Shirk, we can mention that: If it is Shirk (worshiping beside the graves), why Since first of Islam so far other people prayer in Masjid al-Haram where there are several graves of prophets and other people such as Hajar (the mother of Ismaeel) and children of … ? Besides, they prayer in Masjid al-Nabi around the grave of Prophet Muhammad (s), Abu-Bakr and Umar. Then we should not consider it as a Shirk. Because if they prayer around those graves, but their intention is for Allah not them.


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