Visiting the Grave of the Prophet (s)

All Ahl as-Sunnah scholars considered it is sunnah to visit Rasulullah’s (s) grave. Some scholars even say it is wajib. The amir in the time of Imam Malik asked him, “when visiting Rasulullah, should one face the qiblah when addressing prayers on his behalf or should one face away from qiblah and towards the Prophet himself?” Imam Malik replied, “You must face the Prophet (s). If not for him you would not have known about the Ka’aba.”

In his book Musnad, Imam Abu Hanifa wrote this hadith: “Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (r) said, ‘It is sunnah to turn towards the Prophet’s (s) grave, one’s back being towards the qiblah.'” This indicates not only that it is sunnah to visit the grave of the Prophet (s) but it is also sunnah to turn’s one face towards his holy face.

Narrated Abu Hurayrah (r): The Prophet (s) said: Do not make your houses graves, and do not make my grave a place of festivity. But invoke blessings on me, for your blessings reach me wherever you may be. [Abu Dawud 10: 2037]

This hadith clearly indicates the acceptability of visiting the grave, the Prophetic stipulation being that it not be made a place of festivity. If the Prophet (s) had wished to prohibit the visit, he would have done so.

Furthermore, explaining that he is alive in his grave, responding to the greetings of those who greet him from near or far, is the hadith in Abu Dawud, narrated Abu Hurayrah (r): The Prophet (s) said: If any one of you greets me, Allah returns my soul to me and I respond to the greeting. [Abu Dawud, 10: 2036]

Finally, visiting the grave of the Prophet (s) falls under the general permission and recommendation to visit graves of the Companions and martyrs, which is Sunnah of the Prophet (s).

As narrated in a hadith in Abu Dawud, Rabi’ah ibn al-Hudayr said: I did not hear Talhah ibn Ubaydullah narrating any tradition from the Apostle of Allah (s) except one tradition. I (Rabi’ah ibn Abu Abdur Rahman) asked: “What is that?” He said: “We went out along with the Apostle of Allah (s) who was going to visit the graves of the martyrs. When we ascended Harrah Waqim, and then descended from it, we found there some graves at the turning of the valley. We asked: ‘Apostle of Allah, are these the graves of our brethren?’ He replied: ‘Graves of our companions.’ When we came to the graves of martyrs, he said: ‘These are the graves of our brethren.'” [Sunan Abu Dawud: 10: 2038.]

It is clear from the above, that not only did the Prophet (s) visit graves of his Companions, he made a special effort to do so and was accompanied by his Companions.”

History of the Blessed Grave of the Holy Prophet (s)

The Prophet (s) was buried in `A’isha’s room where he died, which in his time, was out of the Masjid.

1. Umar (r) first enlarged the mosque so that it was now possible to pray in the space falling behind the Noble Grave as well as “on the other side” as you put it, which was from the Rawda (space between Hujra and Minbar) to the Khawkha (Abu Bakr’s door). The Grave was inside but on the edge.

2. Uthman (r) then enlarged it further so that it was now possible to pray in the space falling immediately in front of the Noble Grave. Furthermore he moved the Prophet’s mihrab to the new wall but in the same central position. Grave inside but on the edge.

3. al-Walid enlarged it further, so that the Noble Grave now was no longer on the edge but was within a new wall opposite the Khawkha wall.

The Sahaba did not call into question the fact of the Prophet’s Mosque being the site of his grave, during their time, nor did the Tabi’een. The last Sahabi, may Allah be well pleased with them all, Abu al-Tufayl `Amir ibn Wathilat al-Laythiyy, died in the year 100 according to the authentic reports.” [al-Nabahani (1265-1350H) in al-anwar p. 440.]

`A’isha (r) said that SHE would have opened the access to the grave except that she wished to prevent people praying AT the grave. The Companions’s later enlargement, however, made it possible to pray TOWARDS the grave while inside the mosque, so at that time, `A’isha (r) changed the orientation of her room.

A hadith relates: “The best of my Community are those of the century [qarn] wherein I was sent, then those that came after them [this applies to al-Walid]” (Muslim 7:184). Among those included in those centuries, were the Amir al-Walid who was one of those “that came after the Companions.” He enlarged the mosque upon the recommendation of his brother-in-law Umar ibn Abdul Aziz. The latter’s standing in the Umma then and now is second only to the first four khalifas. and some scholars even consider him to be the fifth Rightly-Guided Caliph.

Page 2 of 3 | Previous page | Next page