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Section II: Unlegislated Acts at the Grave

Firstly: Plastering the Grave [749] Tajsis of the grave is to cover it with plaster, also known as gypsum.
It is haram to plaster the grave. This is the position of Ibn Hazm, and the choice of al-Qurtubi, Ibn al-Qayyim, al-San`ani, al-Shawkani, al-Shinqiti, Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin.
Secondly: The Ruling of Building over the Grave
It is haram to build over the grave. [750] It is permissible to have a fence around the graveyard. This may become obligatory if this protects it from sacrilege. This is the position of Ibn Hazm, Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Shawkani, al-Shinqiti, Ibn Baz, al-Albani, and Ibn `Uthaymin.
Thirdly: Building a Mosque over a Grave
It is haram to build a mosque over the grave. This is the position of the Hanbalis, some Malikis, and some Shafi`is. It is also the choice of Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn al-Qayyim, al-San`ani, al-Shawkani, al-Shinqiti, Ibn Baz, Ibn `Uthaymin, and al-Albani.
Fourthly: Writing on the Grave
Scholars have differed over the ruling of writing over the grave [751] Ibn `Uthaymin said: “Writing on it requires some detail. Simply naming the grave is fine. However, praise for the person and their achievements or poetry, as was done before Islam, is prohibited. Some ignorant people still do this, writing al-Fatihah on their grave for example or other verses. All this is haram, and whoever sees this in a graveyard on a tombstone should remove it, for this is evil that must be changed.” Sharh Riyad al-Salihin (521/6) according to two views:
The first: is that it is makruh to write on the grave, [752] It is not legislated to write on the grave, neither Qur’an, nor the deceased’s name and lineage, nor anything of the sort. Some scholars gave concession with regards to the name. As for writing on the wall of the graveyard then it is best avoided, as it is similar to writing on the graves in some ways. and this is the position of the majority: Malikis, Shafi`is, Hanbalis, and the position of Abu Yusuf and Muhammad ibn al-Hasan from the Hanafis.
The second: is that it is haram. This is the position of al-Shawkani and Ibn Baz.
Fifthly: Relieving Oneself
It is haram to relieve oneself on the grave. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Sixthly: Sitting on the Grave
It is haram to sit on the grave. This is the position of the Zahiris, some Shafi`is, some Hanbalis, and a group of the Salaf. It is also the position of al-San`ani, al-Shawkani, Ibn Baz, Ibn `Uthaymin, and al-Albani.
Seventhly: Walking upon the Grave
It is haram to walk upon the grave. This is a position of the Hanbalis, chosen by Ibn Baz and Ibn `Uthaymin.
Eighthly: Leaning against the Grave
It is haram to lean against the grave. This is the position of some of the Shafi`is, some Hanbalis, Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin.
Ninthly: The Ruling of Walking in the Graveyards with Shoes
Scholars have differed over the ruling of walking with shoes in the graveyards according to two views:
The first: is that it is not makruh to walk in the graveyards with shoes or sandals or anything similar to them. This is the position of the Hanafis, the most common opinion among Shafi`is, a narration from Ahmad, the position of the majority of scholars, and the position of Ibn Hazm. [753] He excepted from this leather sandals, deeming it haram to walk in in the graveyards.
The second: is that it is makruh to do so. This is the position of the Hanbalis, [754] Hanbalis excepted if it is for an excuse, like fear of najasah, thorns, or the like. Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin.
Tenthly: Reciting Qur'an at the Grave
Reciting Qur'an is not legislated at the grave. [755] Benefit: Ibn `Uthaymin said: “Admonition at the graves is per what is authenticated in the Sunnah. It is not that the man stands giving a sermon, especially if this is done regularly. This is not transmitted from the Prophet ﷺ. Rather, it ought to be as the Prophet ﷺ did. He said to them, standing upon a grave: “There is not one of you except their seat is written for them in either Paradise or Hellfire.” On another occasion, he came to al-Baqi` graveyard and sat and people sat around him. He then picked up a stick from the ground. He then described the state of man at the throes of death and when being buried. Talking is in itself admonition. As for a man standing among the people and delivering a sermon, then this is not authenticated from the Prophet ﷺ.” Majmu` Fatawa wa Rasa’il al-`Uthaymin (230/17) This is the position of the Malikis, the position of Abu Hanifah, a narration from Ahmad, the choice of Ibn Taymiyyah, [756] Ibn Taymiyyah excepted recitation at the time of burial. Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin.
Eleventhly: Lighting the Graves
It is haram to place lights around the graves. [757] Ibn Baz was asked: "Is it permissible to place lights in graveyards and the paths between graves?" He replied: "If it is for the benefit of the people when burying the deceased, or was attached to the fence, then that is fine. As for placing lamps and lights on the grave then it is not permissible. The Prophet cursed those who visit the grave and those who take mosques and lights over them. If the light is in the nearby streets then there's no problem. If there is a lamp especially for the time of burial, or people took lamps with them for that purpose, then that's also fine. Majmu` Fatawa Ibn Baz (13/244-245). Ibn Taymiyyah has quoted consensus on this matter.
Twelfthly: Slaughtering at the Grave
Slaughtering an animal is not legislated at the grave, [758] Muhammad ibn Ibrahim said: "As for slaughtering, then it is one of two: it is for the sake of Allah, or for the sake of the buried. If it is for the sake of Allah then this is a sin and is haram since it is a step towards slaughtering for the owner of the grave. This is because means take the ruling of their ends in prohibition. As for if it was for the owner of the grave, then his action is major polytheism." Fatawa wa Rasa`ill Samahat al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Al Shaykh (1/131). As for eating from it, then it depends. If it has been slaughtered for other than Allah, then it is haram to consume. As anything that is sacrificed for other than Allah is haram to consume, as Allah says in surah al-Ma'idah: "Forbidden to you are carrion, blood, and swine; what is slaughtered in the name of any other than Allah". If it was not slaughtered for other than Allah then it is at least makruh, as it resembles that which has been sacrificed for other than Allah. and this is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Thirteenthly: Charity at the Grave
Giving charity at the grave is an innovation. [759] Some scholars view it as permissible to place cool water in graveyards for the people, especially in intense heat, since visitors and those following processions may be harmed through the heat. This is therefore a form of kindness and goodness to people. This is the position of Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Baz, and al-Albani.
Fourteenthly: Travelling to Visit Graves
It is haram to travel for the sake of visiting a grave, regardless whether it is a grave of a Prophet or other than that. This is the position of Malik and the majority of his companions, the position of some Shafi`is, and it is a narration from Ahmad chose by Ibn `Aqil and Ibn Taymiyyah. It is also the position of Ibn Battah, Ibn al-Athir, Ibn `Abd al-Hadi, Ibn al-Qayyim, al-San`ani, Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin.
Fifteenthly: Placing Plant Branches or Flowers on Graves
Placing plant branches, stems, or flowers on the grave is not legislated. This is explicitly mentioned by al-Khattabi, Ibn al-Hajj from the Malikis, Ibn Baz, Ibn `Uthaymin, and al-Albani.
Sixteenthly: Taking Graves as Places of Festivity
It is haram to take the places around the graves as places of cyclic gathering. [760] Taking the graves as `Id means to take them as places of i`tiyad; consistent visits over a year, month, or week, or generally meeting at the graves at a particular time. Consensus has been quoted on this by Ibn Taymiyyah.


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