Tawaaf (Circumbulate) Sujood (Prostrating) ETC of Graves

Tawaaf (Circumbulate) Sujood (Prostrating) ETC of Graves

Some ignorant people make tawaaf, sujood, etc, on graves. These are all unlawful acts. The ulama of the Ahlus-Sunnah Wal Jama’ah very clearly explained it’s unlawfulness Since tawaaf, sujood, ruku, standing with hands folded are all acts of ibadah (worship) and our shariah has not allowed such respect and reverance of graves which result in worship, therefore they are forbidden. Rasulullah salalahu alayhi wa salam was aware that previous nations went astray due to such excesses, thus he laid great emphasis for his ummah to stay free from such acts.

Ummul Mominien Hadhrat Ayesha radhiallahu anha reports that Rasulullah salalahu alayhi wa salam during his later days used to abundantly say:

“Allah’s curse be upon the ‘Yahoood and Nasara’ that they have made the graves of their prophets places of sujooed” (Miskaat pg69)

In another Hadith Rasulullah salalahu alayhiw a salam is reported to have said: Beware! People of earlier generations made the graves of their prophets places of Sajdah. Beware do not make graves places of sajdah. I am prohibiting you from it. (Ibid)

In another hadith it is stated

‘O Allah do not make my grave an idol that it may be worshipped. The anger and wrath of Allah is generated on that nation who makes the graves of their prophets places of Sujood (worship) (Mishkaat).

Hadhrat Qais ibn Saad Radhiallahu anhu says: I went to Heera, there i saw its citizens prostrating themselves before their chiefs. I thought that rasulullah salalahu alayhi wa salam was more worthy of being prostrated to. On my return I requested his permission to do the same. Rasulullah salalahu alayhi wa salam replied: “Would you prostrate yourself before my grave after my death? I answered in the negative. Rasulullah salalahu alayhi wa salam then said: “Do not do so in my lifetime”

If we ponder on these traditions, we will learn how much rasulullah salalahu alayhi wa salam feared that his ummat should not fall pray to this evil, and with what severity did rasulullah salalahu alayhi wa salam prohibited this. Rasulullah salalahu alayhi wa salam declared the worshipped grave an idol, and cursed the worshippers and regarded the worshipper an hid act of sajdah as a means of generating Allah Ta’ala’s wrath and anger.

In view of the above the Ulama of the Ahlus Sunnah have declared making Sajdah to graves as an act of shirk.

Mullah Ali Qari commentating on the hadith “Allah’s curse be on the Yahood and Nasara” writes that the Yahood and Nasara fell prey to Allah’s curse either because,

A) Due to their love and respect to the Ambiya, they, in expressing this love and respect, made sajdahto the graves of the Ambiya alayhimus salam and this is shirk.

B) Or they used to read Salaah and make sajdah to Allah but in the grave yards they prostrated to their prophets. In the condition of Salaah they used to face the graves and make sajdah to these graves. They thought they were doing two good deeds.

Hence Rasulullah salalahu alayhi wa salam prohibited his ummah from indulging in these acts either because it was emulating the yahood or that it involved shirk

Hadhrat Shah Wali ullah writes in “Fauzul Kabir”. If you wish to see a perfect example of the practices of the Mushrikeen then look at the general masses and the ignorant of our times. They visit tombs, graves, etc and indulge in many types of shirk. Every wicked and misfortunate act and belief of the previous people is exercised by different groups of our times. May Allah Ta’ala protect us from such beliefs and practices.

Hadhrat Qadi Thana ulla pani Pati says:

It is haraam to prostrate to the grave of the Ambiya, to make T awaaf of the graves and to ask Aid from the inmates of these graves, all these are haraam acts. In fact many of these acts lead to kufr.

Rasulullah salalahu alayhi wa salam has cursed these actions an dprohibited them. And Rasulullah salalahu alayhi wa salam said:

“Do not make my grave an idol”

It is not permissible to circumbulate the graves because the tawaaf of the kaaba holds the position of Namaaz: Rasulullah salalahu alayhi wa salam has said: Tawaaf of the Kaaba is namaaz. (Irshaadil Taalibien pg18)

Burhan Tarjumani says: “We do not regard placing of the hands on the graves as sunnah nor as a good act. However if someone does so, there is no sin. Ainul Aimmah Karabisi says: This was the ruling of the Salaf (Pious predecessor) without reproach. And Shamshul Aimma Makki says: This is an innovation. Do not rub or place your hands on graves nor kiss it, because these are christian customs. (Fatwa Alamgiri pg357 Vol 5)

The gist of the above fatwa (decree) is that there is no evil in placing your hands sometimes on the graves as long as it is not regarded as sunnah or an act of virtue. To place hands on the graves regarding it virtuous and a means of gaining “barakah” and kissing the grave or the hand are all innovations. It was not the practice of the Salaf but a christian custom.

Vows and Offering At Graves

Many People do not only ask for Aid at the graves of the Auliya but make vows eg. That if their needs are fulfilled they would spread a sheet on the grave or place sweets, sweetmeats, etc at graves of the Auliya or would offer a certain amount of money in the name of these Auliya, etc.

Regarding these practises it is necessary to establish a few points.

1. To make vows, to gives alms, to distribute food (niyaz) are all acts of ibaadah (worship) Furthermore to worship anyone besides Allah is not permissible.

In the famous Hanafi Book “Durre Muktaar” it is stated

‘It should be known that the vows and offerings in the name of the dead the placing of money, food, in the name of the Auliya to gain their nearness and blessings, are unanimously haraam. Many people are involved in these customs especially in our time and Allama Qasim has explained this mas’ala in detail in the commentary of “Dural Bihar”

Allama Shami says: There are many reasons for such vows (Nazar) to be void and haraam.


These vows are for created beings and to make vows in the name of any creation is not permissible. Since vows constitute an Ibaada and Ibada of creation is not permissible.


The person in whose name the vow is pledged is dead, and the dead do not have any power to do anything.


If the person making the vow believes that these dead also have the power to fulfill their needs, it is an act of kufr. (Raddul Mukhtaar pg 139)

Qadi Thana ullah Pani Pati says:

“Ibaada of anyone besides Allah is not permissible, nor is it permissible to ask aid from anyone besides Allah. Hence it is not permissible to make (nazar) a vow in the name of any auliya, since vows are acts of ibaadah.

It is affirmed that vows (nazar) are ibaadah and ibaadah is reserved solely for Allah. Therefore to make vows, place food, flowers, sheets, at graves of the Auliya is unanimously void and haraam.

2. If someone has made a vow in the name of any Auliya it is not permissible for him to fulfill it. If he fulfills it he will be punished for commiting a sin.

It is explicitly explained in Fatawa Alamgiri, Bahrul Raiq and other fatwa books that it is not permissible to make a vow (make a nazar) of a non permissible acts of shariah, nor is it necessary to fulfill it. (Fatawa Alamgiri pg208 vol1). In fact it is incumbent to repent for making such vows.

Hadhrat Qadi Thana Ullah Pani Pati Rahmatullahi alayh says: “If someone has made such a vow, he should not fulfill it because it is incumbent to refrain from sins as far as possible.” (Irshadul Taalibeen pg 18)

It is a sin to make such a vow and to fulfill it is a separate sin.

Therefore one should repent for the first sin and refrain from committing another sin.

3. If such a vow was made and fulfilled as well, then the thing vowed will be haraam because of veing vowed in the name of someone besides Allah. Thus the cunsumption of such things will not be permissible for anyone. However the person who has made the vow is allwoed to take back his thing and repent provided the thing is still in its original condition. This is the ruling of every such animal intended to be slaughtered in the name of someone besides Allah; As long as the animal is living the person who has vowed is allwoed to take back his animal and repent. And if it is slaughtered in the name of someone besides Allah irrespective of having read Bismillah or not at the time of slaughtering the animal would not be permissible for consumption.

Imam Rabbani Mujaddid Alf Thanie Rahmatullahi alayh writes in his Maktoob pg 41 the following:

“In accordance with the traditions of fiqh the animals offered in the name of saints and slaughtered at the gravesides of saints are also acts of shirk. Great emphasis is laid on refraining from such acts. There types of offerings are also classified as the offerings in the name of the Shayateen.”

4. If someone has made an offering (vow) exclusively for Allah and only intends the conveyance of it’s reward to the soul of a saint by means of Isaale Thawaab will not be classified as shirk. However, since the general masses are unable to differentiate this from the latter it is advisable to refrain from this type of vows as well.

Hadhrat Imam Rabbani Mujaddid Alfi Thanie after his above qoutation writes:

This act should also be refrained from as it also has the taint of shirk in it. There are many forms of vows that can be made in the name of Allah:

5. It is correct for someone to vow that “If my wish is fulfilled I will distribute sweets or any other thing to the people living around the grave of a saint”. However, if his wish is fulfilled it will not be necessary for him to distribute the sweets, etc to the people of the area he has vowed to distribute it to. If he insisst that it must be distribute in that area and he feels that until he does not distribute it to that area his vow will be incomplete, then it would clearly indicate that he had not vowed in the name of Allah but rather his offering was for the saint of that area.

6. Another important factor to note, which not only the ignorant masses are victims of but also the learned are unaware of is that vows do not have any effect in the fulfillment of ones wishes. Nor does it have any effect on changing ones “Taqdeer”

It is reported in Bukhari and Muslim that Rasulullah salalahu alayhi wa salam is reported to have said:

“Do not make vows, for these do not change ones taqdeer, it only takes out money from the misers.

Sheikh abdul haq Muhaddith Dehlawi rahmatullahi alayh commentating on this hadeeth says:

The reason for prohibiting these types of vows is that they do not change or delay what has been destined to happen. It was the habit of eople to make vows for the removal of difficulties and fulfillemtn of needs, thus they were prohibited as this was the habit of miserly people. The generous people make vows and give charity without the conditions of fulfilment of needs etc. This was prohibition so as to encourage charity without conditions attached for the charity.

It is reported in a hadeeth that charity removes difficulties . But in vows there is a form of bargaining, that if my need is fulfilled I will give charity.

When vows exclusively offered in the name of Allah do not change Taqdeer, how would it change taqdeer when offered in the name of saints. How unfortunate is man that when he makes a vow and it is not fulfilled he blames Taqdeer and if this need is fulfilled he goes around boasting that I had made a vow at the grave of a certain saint or peer and my needs have been fulfilled.

This is the root of falsehood and evil in belief and upon which Shaytaan drives man away from his Creator and makes him a victim of shirk eventually.

Rasulullah salalahu alayhi wa salam has tried to destroy this root cause of shirk in this hadeeth, that vows are to be offered in the name of Allah and then too they do not change what is going to happen. What then is the condition of vows made in the name of peers, etc?


Author: jaamiahamidia

striving for the upliftment of humanity

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