“The Prophet (ﷺ) visited the grave of his mother, and he wept and those who were with him wept. Then he said, ‘I asked my Lord for permission to pray for forgiveness for her, and He did not grant me permission to do that, and I asked Him for permission to visit her grave, and He gave me permission. So visit the graves, for they are a reminder of death.’”
[Narrated by Muslim, 3/65; Abu Dawud, 2/72; al-Nasa’i, 1/286; also by Ibn Majah, al-Hakim, al-Bayhaqi and Ahmad]
Furthermore, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) taught his Companions to say, when they visited graves: “Peace be upon you, O inhabitants of the graves, believers and Muslims. Verily we will, Insha’Allah join you. I ask Allah for well-being for us and for you.”
Deviant: Huh? I thought you Wahabis believe that visiting graves is shirk?! So It’s fine then to invoke Ali/Jilani/Fatimah/Hussain/Badawi, etc. for madad (help) when we visit them?
Muslim: No it’s not fine and your pirs/ayatullats have lied to you. Ahl al-Sunnah (‘Wahhabis’) have never claimed that visiting graves is haram or shirk per se is shirk. Let me elaborate:
Visiting the dead in Islam: Visiting the dead (without specifying a grave, let alone performing pilgrimage to it) is a recommended act and from the Sunnah, as one remembers death which helps to prepare oneself for the Hereafter.
Another benefit is that one prays for the dead, e.g. “O Allah, forgive my (deceased) parents… O Allah be pleased with Abu Bakr, be pleased with ‘Ali…” etc. This is different from polytheism in the form of praying to the buried and tombed saints, asking them to fulfill one’s needs and wishes (“O Ali madad/help… Ya Jilani help… Ya Fatimah… Ya Hussain… Ya Badawi….”).
In a sahih hadith the Prophet (ﷺ) was seen praying for his deceased and fallen Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them) who are buried in the modest (thanks to the ‘Wahhabis’) al-Baqi’ cemetery in al-Madinah al-Munawwarah which the Rafidah and Sufis wish to transform into a tomb business estate by erecting lavish structures and shrines (built by fallible rulers such as the Sufi Ottomans and their likes) over the leveled (not destroyed) graves.
This is what one of the most influential Salafi authorities of our age said regarding this issue:
It is permissible to raise the hands when reciting this du’a’ (“peace be upon you O people of the dwellings…”), because of the hadith of ‘A’ishah who said: “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) went out one night, and I sent Barirah to follow him and see where he went. She said, ‘He went towards Baqi’ al-Gharqad, and he stood at the bottom of al-Baqi’ and raised his hands, then he went away.’ Barirah came back to me and told me, and when morning came I asked him about it. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, where did you go out to last night? He said, ‘I was sent to the people of al-Baqi’, to pray for them.’”[Mukhtasar Ahkam al-Jana’iz by al-Albani]
So there is nothing wrong with visiting graves as long as it doesn’t include heretical practices. Visiting graves was not allowed for men and women alike, because the Muslims were new in Islam and came from a background where grave worship and attachment to the dead were widespread. So they were forbidden to visit graves as a preventative measure, to avoid evil and prevent shirk. But once Islam was well-established and they understood Islam, Allah prescribed visiting the graves because of the lessons and reminders of death and the Hereafter involved in that, and so that they could make du’a’ for the deceased and pray for mercy for them.
“I [once] had forbidden you from visiting graves, [and I now enjoin] you to do so, so that the visit may serve as a beneficial reminder.” (related by Muslim and others)
and in the version of al-Hakim:
“for [such visits] soften the heart, bring tears to the eyes, and serve as a reminder of the Hereafter, [but be careful] not to speak forbidden expressions [i.e. while visiting].” (Sahih al-Jami’ 4584)
He also said:
“Do not sit on graves and do not pray facing them.” (Narrated by Muslim, 972).
And in one version:
لَعَنَ اللهُ زُوّارَاتِ القُبُورِ، الْمُتَّخِذَاتِ عَلَيْهِنَّ الْمَسَاجِدَ وَالسُّرَجَ
“Allah curses women who visit graves and light candles on the graves and take them as their place of prostration (masjid).”
Ibn Qudamah al-Hanbali (may Allah have mercy upon him) says:
“…The reason behind the curse on female visitors is because of the fact that the people during the pre-Islamic period of ignorance (jahiliyyah) used to visit the graves. After some time, they would construct statues and images on the grave. Then, these would be treated as idols and they would pay reverence in front of them. So, they were cursed and the visitation of the women was prohibited. [Ibn al-Qudamah, Al-Mughni, vol. 2, p. 430.]
Note: Concerning visits to cemeteries by women, scholars have varied opinions on this issue with the majority stating that it is haram. Even those who allow it say that women should never frequent graves based on the hadith: "Allah has cursed women who frequent graves," [related by Ahmed and Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah]
In fact, in the last moments of his life, he did not utter a single word about calling upon himself, the saints, the so-called Imamah of twelve imams, or anything of that sort. What he did was warning against shirk:
Humongous, wasteful, and showy structures and shrines have been built over the once modest graves (like those of the Ahl al-Bayt who would rejoice to see those polytheistic structures being torn down) of the Sahabah and Ahl al-Bayt; some of those monstrosities remind one more of Zoroastrian-Majusi palaces (like the super mausoleum of Khomeini, the doomed one) than Muslim graves.
The truth is, your ‘scholars’ and preachers have lied to you. They have committed a logical fallacy (strawman) by accusing their opponents (the ‘Wahabis’) of something they never claimed (impermissibility of visiting graves). Grave visitation is permissible and Sunnah subject to the condition that one does not say or indulge in anything that opposes the monotheistic principles of Islam.
Free yourselves from your mental shackles that are attached to the polytheistic shrines by the callers to the gates of the Hellfire, charlatans who in the name of loving the Awliya’/Ahl al-Bayt have created some form of ‘Islamic’ Catholicism where the Ahl al-Bayt and an endless list of pirs/shaykhs/imams and even Jesus and Mary (peace be upon them) are invoked besides Allah.
The Prophet (ﷺ) did wage for over two decades war against the shirk of the Mushrikun, the polytheists, only to tell them to invoke Ali, Fatimah, Jilani, Badawi, etc. instead of Jesus, Mary, Angels, Hubal, ‘Uzzah, etc.