Shaikh al-Albaani

Translations From His Works

Category: Taking Graves as Mosques

Taking Graves as Mosques … 3

Here is the first chapter of Shaikh al-Albaani’s book Tahdheer as-Saajid. There are a number of footnotes and some of them are quite lengthy, many of them are the references showing where the narrations are recorded and some are direct explanations of the text.  So I decided to put the notes which explain the text immediately after the word or phrase being explained, as part of the main text, although you can still tell it’s a footnote since it’s in purple, and those notes which may not immediately be needed, I’ve left at the bottom.  This way you guys can read the whole chapter without having to scroll up and down to understand any explanations of the main body of text. All footnotes are Shaikh al-Albaani’s, may Allaah have mercy on him.


Chapter One
Being a Mention of those Sayings of the Prophet
that Prohibit taking the Graves as Mosques

1)  From Aaishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, who said, “Allaah’s Messenger, صلى الله عليه وسلم, said, ‘May Allaah curse the Jews and the Christians! They took the graves of their Prophets as mosques.’ She said, ‘Were it not for that, his grave would have been in an open place[1], but he feared that it would be taken as a place of worship.’”[2]

[1] i.e., his grave would have been uncovered, صلى الله عليه وسلم, and a barrier would not have been put around it; and what is meant is being buried outside his home, this is mentioned in Fathul-Baari.

A point of benefit: This saying of Aaishah clearly proves the reason that led the Companions to bury the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, in his home–which was to cut off the means for anyone who may have [otherwise] built a mosque on it. This being the case it is not then permissible to take the above as a proof to bury anyone other than him, صلى الله عليه وسلم, in his home. This is also strengthened by the fact that doing so would be against the established principle regarding burial, since the Sunnah is that burial takes place in the graveyards. For this reason Ibn Urwah said in Al-Kawaakib ad-Daraari (manuscript page 77/tafsir 538), “And burial in the graveyards of the Muslims was more liked by Abu Abdullaah (i.e., Imaam Ahmad) than burial in the houses, for in doing so there is less harm to those still living from the deceased’s family, and it resembles the home of the Hereafter more, and will result in a greater amount of supplication and a greater amount of people asking for Allaah’s Mercy for him. And the Companions, those who followed them and those who came after them, never ceased burying people in the deserts. So if it is said, ‘The Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, was buried in his home and the graves of his two Companions are there with him?’ We say, ‘Aaishah said, ‘That was only done so that his grave would not be taken as a place of worship,’ and likewise because the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, used to bury his Companions at­­­ Baqee–and the action of the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, takes precedence over the actions of those other than him [along with the fact that] his Companions held that this was unique to him, صلى الله عليه وسلم, and because it has been reported that, “The Prophets are buried at the place they die,” and to protect them from great multitudes of people, and to distinguish them from those who were not Prophets.”

A saying similar to this one of Aaishah has also been reported from her father, may Allaah be pleased with them both. Ibn Zanjawaih reported in his book that Umar, the freed-slave of Ghafrah, said, “When they were discussing the burial of the Prophet of Allaah, صلى الله عليه وسلم, someone said, ‘We will bury him in the spot he used to pray in!’ So Abu Bakr said, “I seek refuge in Allaah (or Allaah forbid!) that we make him an idol that is worshipped.” Others from them said, “We will bury him in Baqee where his brothers from the Muhaajirs are buried.” Abu Bakr said, “Indeed we dislike that the grave of the Prophet of Allaah, صلى الله عليه وسلم, should be taken out to Baqee such that the people [start to] seek refuge with it in that which [only] Allaah has a right in, and the right of Allaah is above the right of the Messenger of Allaah. And if we break the covenant of Allaah (in the original there occurs: if we delay it) we would have caused the right of Allaah to be lost. So if we do break the covenant of Allaah we would have also have broken the covenant concerning the grave of the Prophet of Allaah, صلى الله عليه وسلم.” They said, “So what do you yourself think, O Abu Bakr?” He said, “I heard the Prophet of Allaah, صلى الله عليه وسلم, say, ‘Allaah never once took the soul of a Messenger except that he was buried where his soul was taken.’” They said, “So you, by Allaah, have pleased and convinced us.” Then they drew a line around the bed and Ali, Abbaas, al-Fadl and his family picked it up and the companions started to dig, digging where the bed had been.”[3]

2) From Abu Hurairah, may Allaah be pleased with him, who said, “The Prophet of Allaah, صلى الله عليه وسلم, said, ‘May Allaah’s curse be on the Jews! They took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.’”[4]

3-4) From Aaishah and Ibn Abbaas, that when the Prophet of Allaah, صلى الله عليه وسلم, was on his deathbed, he put the edge of a woolen blanket[5] on his face and when he felt hot and short of breath he took it off and said, “May the Curse of Allaah be upon the Jews and the Christians! They took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.” Aishah said, “He, صلى الله عليه وسلم, was warning [the Muslims] from doing the same as what they had done.”[6]

[5] [The word used in the narration, i.e.,] ‘khameesah’ [خَمِيْصَةٌ] has been explained to be a silk [khazz/خَزّ] or woollen, marked blanket, as is mentioned in the book An-Nihaayah. I [al-Albaani] say: and the second one is intended here since ‘khazz’ [خَزّ] is silk as is well-known now and it is forbidden for men as is established in the Sunnah in contrast to what those who make it permissible from those people who give no weight to the Sunnah say.

Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr said, “And it is as though he, صلى الله عليه وسلم, knew that he was going to leave [this world] due to that illness. So he feared that his grave would be glorified as those who had gone before had done [to the graves of their Prophets], thus he cursed the Jews and the Christians, indicating [his] censure of whoever does the same as what they did.” I say: i.e., from this ummah and in hadith number six which will follow there is an open declaration forbidding them from that, so take heed.

5) From Aishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, who said, “During the Prophet’s, صلى الله عليه وسلم, [final] illness some of his wives mentioned a church in Ethiopia called Maariyah–and Umm Salamah and Umm Habeebah had been to Ethiopia–so they mentioned its beauty and the images therein.” She said, “[So the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, raised his head] and said, ‘Those people–if there was a righteous man among them and he died–would build a place of worship [Masjid] over his grave and paint those images in it. They will be the most evil of mankind before Allaah [on the Day of Resurrection].’”[7]

Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr said in Fath al-Baari, “This hadith proves the forbiddance of building mosques [ masaajid/the word masaajid is the plural of masjid, i.e., mosque [Trans. note] ] on top of the graves of the righteous, and drawing images of them inside them as the Christians did. And there is no doubt that each of these things taken individually is forbidden–so drawing images of humans is forbidden, and building graves in mosques is forbidden as other texts have proven and a mention of some of which will follow. He said, “And the images in the church which Umm Habeebah and Umm Salamah mentioned were on the walls [of the church] and their like, they had no shadow, so drawing images in the likeness of the Prophets and the righteous people to take blessing and cure from them is something forbidden in the religion of Islaam and is pure idol worship. And the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, informed us that the people who make such images are those who will be the worst of the creation before Allaah on the Day of Resurrection.

Drawing images [of living things] to seek solace from looking at them or for enjoyment or pleasure from them is forbidden and from the major sins and the one who does that will be from those who have the severest torment on the Day of Resurrection. For he is an oppressor, trying to imitate the actions of Allaah which none other than He can do, and there is none like unto Him, the Most High, not in His Essence or His Characteristics, nor His Actions–how free and far removed from all defects He is, the Most High.” He mentioned this in al-Kawaakib ad-Daraari (vol., 2/28/65).

I say: And there is no difference between images drawn by hand and devices used to make pictures or photographic images. Rather, differentiating between them is present day stubbornness and literalism, as I have clarified in my book Aadaabuz-Zafaaf (pp. 106-116 of the second edition).

6) From Jundub ibn Abdullaah al-Bajalee that he heard the Messenger, صلى الله عليه وسلم, saying five days before he passed away, “Indeed I had brothers and friends among you. [But] verily I free myself before Allaah that I should have a close friend [khaleel] from among you. Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, has taken me as a close friend just as He took Ibrahim as a close friend. And if I were to take a close friend from my nation, I would have taken Abu Bakr as a close friend. Indeed those before you [used to] take the graves of their Messengers and righteous peoples as places of worship. Verily, do not take the graves as places of worships [masaajid]. I forbid you from doing that.”[8]

7) From al-Haarith an-Najraani who said, “I heard the Messenger, صلى الله عليه وسلم, five days before his death saying, “And indeed those before you would take the graves of their Messengers and righteous people as places of worship [masaajid]. So indeed do not take the graves as places of worship. I forbid you from that.”[9]

8) From Usaamah ibn Zaid that the Prophet of Allaah, صلى الله عليه وسلم, said during the illness from which he died, “Tell my Companions to come to me.” So they entered [the room] where he was and he was covered in a Yemeni Mu’aafari garment.[10] [So he uncovered his face] and said, “May Allaah’s curse be upon the Jews [and the Christians]! They took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship [masaajid].”[11]

[10] The garment was from Yemen and it was called mu’aafari after the Mu’aafar tribe it was associated with. Nihaayah.

9) From Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarraah who said, “The last thing that the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, said was, ‘Expel the Jews of the land of the Hijaaz and of the people of Najraan from the Arabian peninsula. And know that the worst of the people are those who took [and in a narration there occurs: ‘… who take …’][12] the graves of their Prophets as places of worship [masaajid].”[13]

[12] And the difference in meaning between the two wordings is very clear. Since the first narration is referring to people who have passed on, and they are the Jews and the Christians, as occurs in the hadiths that have preceded. And the second wording is referring to those from this nation who follow their path, and hadiths numbers six, seven and twelve support this.

10) From Zaid ibn Thaabit that Allaah’s Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, said, “May Allaah curse (and in a narration there occurs: ‘… may Allaah ruin/destroy …’) the Jews–they took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship [masaajid].”[14]

11) From Abu Hurairah who said, “The Prophet of Allaah, صلى الله عليه وسلم, said, ‘O Allaah! Do not make my grave an idol[15] that is worshipped! May Allaah curse [those] people who took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.”[16]

[15] Ibn Abdul-Barr said, “[The Arabic term used in the hadith] wathan [وَثَنٌ] means an idol. He said, “Do not make my grave an idol/statue towards which people pray and prostrate and worship, for the anger of Allaah is most severe against the one who does that. And the Prophet of Allaah, صلى الله عليه وسلم, used to warn his Companions and his entire nation from the evil that nations before them had done who would pray to the graves of their Prophets, taking them as a direction to pray to [qiblah] and [taking them as] places of worship [masaajid], as the idol worshippers did with the idols which they would prostrate to and glorify–and this is major shirk. The Prophet of Allaah, صلى الله عليه وسلم, would inform them of the Wrath and Anger of Allaah at those actions and that it was something which He is not pleased with, fearing that they would follow their way, and he, صلى الله عليه وسلم, would love to differ from the People of the Book and all of the disbelievers, and he used to fear that his nation would follow them. Have you not seen how he, صلى الله عليه وسلم, [said the following] in a reproachful, scolding manner, “Indeed, you will surely follow the ways of those who came before you, step by step such that if one of them were to enter a lizard’s hole, you too would enter it.” Fathul-Baari of Ibn Rajab (25/90/2), from al-Kawaakib.

12) From Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood who said, “I heard the Prophet of Allaah, صلى الله عليه وسلم, saying, ‘Indeed from the most evil of people are those who will be alive when the Hour is established, and those who take the graves as places of worship [masaajid].’”[17]

13) From Ali ibn Abi Taalib who said, “Al-Abbaas met me and said, ‘O Ali! Let us go to the Messenger, صلى الله عليه وسلم, [and] then [see] if there is something for us in this affair [i.e., the khilaafah] and if not then he may advise the people concerning us.’ So we entered upon him and he was unconscious. Then he raised his head and said, ‘May Allaah curse the Jews! They took the graves of their Messengers as places of worship [masaajid].’” In another narration there occurs, “He said it three times.” “Then when we saw the condition he was in, we left and did not ask him anything.”[18]

14) From the mothers of the Believers that the Companions of the Prophet of Allaah, صلى الله عليه وسلم, said, “How shall we build the grave of the Prophet of Allaah, صلى الله عليه وسلم? Shall we make it a masjid?” So Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq said, “I heard the Prophet of Allaah, صلى الله عليه وسلم, saying, “May Allaah curse the Jews and the Christians! They took the graves of their Messengers as places of worship [masaajid].”[19]

[2] Reported by Bukhaari (3/156, 198 and 8/114), Muslim, (2/28), Abu Awaanah (1/399), Ahmad (6/80, 121, 255) and as-Sarraaj in his Musnad (3/48/2), from Urwah from Aishah. Also reported by Ahmad (6/146, 252) and al-Baghawi in Sharhus-Sunnah (part 1, page 415) from Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib from Aishah and its chain of narration is authentic according to the standard of the two Shaikhs [i.e., Bukhaari and Muslim].

[3] Ibn Kathir said, “And this narration is disconnected in this form, since Umar the freed-slave of Ghafrah, along with his weakness as a narrator, did not reach the time of Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq.” This has been reported in al-Jaami as-Sagheer of as-Suyooti, (3/137/1-2).

[4] Reported by Bukhari (Eng. Transl. vol. 1, p. 280, no. 437), Muslim, Abu Awaanah, Abu Dawud (2/71), Ahmad (2/284, 366, 396, 453 and 518), Abu Ya’laa in his Musnad (1/278), as-Sarraaj, As-Sahmi in Taarikh Jurjaan (349), Ibn Asaakir (2/367/14) from Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib from him, and in Sahih Muslim also from Yazeed ibn al-Asamm from him. Abdur-Razzaaq reported it in his Musannaf (1/406/1589) in the first form but he declared it to be a mowqoof narration.

[6] Reported by Bukhari (1/422, 6/386 and 8/116), Muslim (2/27), Abu Awaanah (1/399), an-Nisaa’ee (1/115), ad-Daarimi (1/326), Ahmed (1/218, 6/34, 229 and 275) and Ibn Sa’d in at-Tabaqaat (2/258). And Abdur-Razzaaq reported it in his Musannaf (1/406/1588) from Ibn Abbaas alone.

[7] Reported by Bukhari (1/416, 422), Muslim, (2/66), an-Nisaa’ee (1/115), Ibn Abi Shaibah in al-Musannaf (4/140 the Indian edition), Ahmad (6/51), Abu Awaanah in his Saheeh (1/400-401) and the wording is his, Ibn Sa’d in at-Tabaqaat (2/240-241), as-Sarraaj in his Musnad (2/48), Abu Ya’laa in his Musnad (manuscript page 2, 220), al-Baihaqi (4/80) and al-Baghawi (2/415, 416).

[8] Reported by Muslim (2/27-28), Abu Uwaanah (1/401) and the wording is his, at-Tabaraani in al-Kabir (1/48/2) and Ibn Sa’d (2/240) reported it in summarised form without a mention of the brotherhood and the references to taking a khaleel. And he has another narration (2/241) from the hadith of Abu Umaamah, and a second supporting narration that at-Tabaraani mentioned from Ka’b ibn Maalik with a chain of narration that has no problem with it as Ibn Hajr al-Haitami said in Majma’uz-Zawaa’id (9/45).

[9] Reported by Ibn Abee Shaibah (Q2/2/83, and T2/376) with an authentic chain of narration which is upon the standard of Muslim.

[11] Reported by at-Tayaalisee in his Musnad (2/113), Ahmad (5/204), at-Tabaraanee in Al-Kabir (part 1, manuscript page 1, 22), and its chain of narration is hasan when all the supporting narrations are taken into consideration. Ash-Shawkaani said in Nailul-Awtaar (2/114), “And its chain of narration is good.”! And al-Haithami said in Majma’uz-Zawaa’id (2/27), “Its narrators are trustworthy.”

[13] Reported by Ahmad (nos., 1691 and 1694), at-Tahaawi in Mushkilul-Aathaar (4/13), Abu Ya’laa (1/57), Ibn Asaakir (8/327/2) with an authentic chain of narration. And al-Haithami said in al-Majma’ (5/325), “[Imaam] Ahmad reported it with [different] chains of narration (in the original it says, ‘ … two chains of narration …’), the narrators of two of these chains of narration are trustworthy, having connected chains of narration, and it is reported by Abu Ya’laa.” I say: and this saying of his is clearly debatable. Since all three chains of narration which he pointed to centre on Ibrahim ibn Maimoon from Sa’d ibn Samurah except that in the third chain of narration some of the narrators added Ishaaq ibn Sa’d ibn Samurah between Ibrahim and Sa’d which is a mistake on the part of those narrators as al-Haafidh has clarified in at-Ta’jeel, also the wording, “… And know that the worst of the people …” is not in it. Al-Haithami mentioned the hadith in another place (2/28) and said, “Bazzaar narrated it and its narrators are trustworthy.” There is a mursal hadith reported from Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz in marfoo form which supports this narration and it is reported by Ibn Sa’d (2/254).

[14] Reported by Ahmad (5/184 and 186) and its narrators are trustworthy except for Uqbah ibn Abdur-Rahmaan who is Ibn Abu Ma’mar and is unknown as a narrator as is mentioned in at-Taqreeb and do not be deceived by the saying of al-Haithami (2/27), “It is reported by at-Tabaraani in al-Kabir and its narrators are muwatthaqoon,” as Shawkaani was [into thinking that all of the narrators are trustworthy] for he said (2/114), “And its chain of narration is good,” and this was because [al-Haithami’s] saying, “…muwatthaqoon …” [in terms of rating the ranks of narrators] is less [in level] than [those about whom it is said, “ thiqaat, trustworthy.” For when they say muwatthaqoon it is an indication from them to show that some of the narrators do not have a strong declaration of trustworthiness, so it is as though al-Haithami is trying to indicate that some of the narrators do not have a strong declaration of trustworthiness, as though al-Haithami is trying to show that Ibn Hibbaan was the only one who declared Uqbah to be trustworthy and that Ibn Hibbaan’s declaration of trustworthiness is not relied upon, and Allaah knows best.

The fact that Ibn Hibbaan’s declaration of a narrator to be trustworthy is not relied upon is something which no one who has delved into this noble branch of knowledge will have any doubt about. I have explained this in detail in my refutation of the book called at-Ta’qeeb al-Hatheeth of Shaikh Abdullaah al-Habashee which was printed in At-Tamadan al-Islaami in consecutive articles and was then printed in an independent treatise entitled, Ar-Radd alaa at-Ta’qeeb al-Hatheeth, so refer back to it, pp. 18-21.

Along with the fact that it should be noted that the saying, “… the narrators of a certain hadith are trustworthy …” does not mean that its chain of narration is authentic as I have clarified in other places, refer to, for example, Sahih at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb, (manuscript part 1, p. 70, Maktabah al-Ma’aarif’s print). But the hadith in question is authentic due to its supporting narrations.

[16] Reported by Ahmad (no. 7352), Ibn Sa’d (2/241-242), al-Mufaddal al-Jundee in Fadaa’ilul-Madeenah (1/66), Abu Ya’laa in his Musnad (1/312), al-Humaidee (1025) and Aboo Nu’aym in Al-Hilyah (6/283 and 7/317) with an authentic chain of narration. And it has a supporting mursal chain of narration which Abdur-Razzaaq reported in al-Musannaf (1/406/1587) and also Ibn Abee Shaibah (4/141) from Zaid ibn Aslam and the chain of narration of this supporting narration is strong. There is also another [supporting narration] which Maalik reported in al-Muwatta (1/185) and Ibn Sa’d from Maalik (2/240-241) from Ataa ibn Yaasir in marfoo form and its chain of narration is authentic. And al-Bazzaar has reported it in a connected form from Ataa ibn Yaasir from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree, and Ibn Abdul-Barr declared both the mursal and mawsool forms to be authentic, saying, “So this hadith is authentic in the eyes of those who hold that the mursal narrations of trustworthy narrators [are to be accepted] and likewise with those who say the same about musnad narrations due to the chain of Umar ibn Muhammad for this hadith, and he is from those whose additions have been accepted.” Refer to, Tanweerul-Hawaalik of as-Suyootee.” And there is some debate concerning that which Ibn Abdul-Barr said about Umar, since al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab said in Al-Fath, “Al-Bazzaar reported by way of him, and the Umar he is referring to is Ibn Sahbaan, and the tribe he is from has been mentioned in some of the copies of al-Bazzaar; and Ibn Abdul-Barr thought he was Umar ibn Muhammad al-Umaree, and it seems that this was a mistake on his part, since [a narration] similar to it has been reported from the hadith of Abu Salamah from Abu Hurairah with a chain of narration in which there is some fault.”

[17] Reported by Ibn Khuzaimah in his Saheeh (1/92/2), Ibn Hibbaan (340, 341), Ibn Abee Shaibah in his Musannaf (4/140, the Indian edition), Ahmad (no. 3844 and 4143), at-Tabaraani in al-Mu’jam al-Kabir (1/77/3), Abu Ya’laa in his Musnad (1/257), Abu Nuaym in Akhbaar Asbahaan (1/142) with a hasan chain of narration and Ahmad also (no. 4342) with a different chain of narration which is hasan along with the one before it. After taking into consideration all of the different paths of narration the hadith is authentic. And the Shaikh of Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said in Minhaaj as-Sunnah (1311) and in al-Iqtidaa (p. 158), “And its chain of narration is good.” And al-Haithmee said (2/27), “Reported by at-Tabaraani in al-Kabir and its chain of narration is hasan.” And he made a clear mistake in attributing the narration to at-Tabaraani alone, since it occurs in the Musnad in three places as we have just pointed out! And the first part of the hadith has been reported by Bukhaari in his Saheeh (13/15) in mu’allaq form.

[18] Reported by Ibn Sa’d (4/28), Ibn Asaakir (12/172/2) from two paths of narration from Uthmaan ibn al-Yamaan who said that Abu Bakr ibn Abi Awn narrated to him that he heard Abdullaah ibn Eesaa ibn Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Abi Laylaa from his father from his grandfather or he said from his father or from his grandfather that he said, “I heard Ali ibn Abi Taalib saying …” I say: This chain of narration is hasan if it were not for the fact that I do not know this Abu Bakr, and nobody but ad-Dawlaabi and Abu Ahmad al-Haakim in al-Kunaa brought it.

[19] Reported by Ibn Zanjawaih in Fadaa’il as-Siddeeq as occurs in al-Jaami’ul Kabir (3/147/1).

Taking Graves as Mosques … 2

The Shaikh continued, “Yet despite the fact that I did not repay their transgressions and lies in kind, the treatise, as far as academic style was concerned, was a direct refutation of them. As such there may be some sternness and harshness in its manner in the opinion of some who make apparent their resentment of refuting the opposers and liars, wishing that they be left alone without being called to account about their ignorance and their accusations against innocent people, under the false impression that being silent about them is the tolerance mentioned in the Most High’s saying, “… and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness.” [Furqaan 25:63]. And they forget, or they choose purposefully to forget, that such an approach is what aids such people in their continuance upon [their own] misguidance and their misguidance of others, and Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, says, “… but do not help one another in sin and transgression …” [al-Maa’idah 5:2].

Which sin and transgression is worse than accusing a Muslim of something which is not true about him rather something which is in total opposition to what he is upon?! Indeed if some of these who make apparent what we have mentioned were afflicted with enmity less than what was thrown at us, they would have rushed to refute, so it is as though they seem to say,

“Nay, let no-one behave ignorantly towards us!
For then we will behave ignorantly over and above
the level of the ignorant ones.”

Yet despite this I say: there is not much benefit in reprinting this book based upon its first edition; as such there are points that had to be removed along with a slight change in some forms of expression which would refine its style and suit its second edition without taking away from its academic value and its key research.

In the introduction to the first edition I had written that the subject of the book centres around two very important matters:

The first: the ruling concerning building mosques on top of graves.
The second: the ruling concerning praying in these mosques.

I chose to research these two topics since some people had delved into them without any knowledge, saying that which no scholar before them had uttered. Especially when most people have no knowledge of this matter whatsoever, being under a cover of heedlessness, ignorant of the truth, being supported in that by the silence of the scholars–except for the ones whom Allaah wills to speak out, and how few they are–being afraid of the masses or just wanting to pay lip service to them in order to preserve their honour and standing among them, pretending to have forgotten the saying of Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, “Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences and the guidance, which We have sent down, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book, they are the ones cursed by Allah and cursed by the cursers,” [Al-Baqarah 2:159] and his, صلى الله عليه وسلم, saying, “Whoever conceals knowledge will be bridled by Allaah with reins of fire on the Day of Resurrection.” [A hasan hadith, reported by Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh, no. 296 and al-Haakim (1/102) and he declared it to be authentic and adh-Dhahabi agreed with him.]

The result of this silence and that ignorance was that many from the masses ended up committing that which Allaah, the Most High, forbade and the perpetrator of which He cursed, a mention of this will follow later–and if only the problem ended there! Rather some of them started to seek closeness to Allaah, the Most High, through that! So you will see lots of those who love good and are in charge of maintaining the mosques spending huge amounts of money to build a mosque for the sake of Allaah–but at the same time he prepares a grave inside it, stating in his will that he be buried in it after he passes away!

Another example I know of this, and maybe it will be the last, if Allaah so wills, is that mosque which is at the top of Baghdad Street at the western side in Damascus, known as, “The Mosque of the Donkey,”–the grave of the donkey is inside it. It had reached us that the Ministry of Religious Endowments had initially forbidden its burial in it, but we do not know the true reasons that came between it and the forbiddance it had wanted and so ‘a donkey’ was buried in it, indeed in the direction of prayer! So to Allaah we belong and to Him we shall return and His Aid is sought to rid us of these abominations and their like!

A few days ago a mufti from the Shaafi’ees passed away and his relatives wanted to have him buried in one of the old mosques in the eastern part of Damascus but the Ministry of Religious Endowments prevented them from doing so and thus he was not buried there. And we thank the Ministry of Religious Endowments for this praiseworthy stance and its eagerness to prevent burials inside the mosques, hoping from Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, that what leads them to prevent such things is a desire to seek the Pleasure of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, and to follow His Legislation and that it is not due to political, social or other such considerations. [Also hoping that] this is a promising start from it on the road towards purifying the mosques from the innovations and detestable affairs that have swarmed them! Especially when the minister of Religious Endowments, his eminence Shaikh al-Baquri has made honourable stances in fighting against many of these detestable matters especially concerning building mosques over graves. In this regard he has some beneficial words which will be related in the appropriate place if Allaah, the Most High, wills.

That which is truly upsetting for every believer is that many mosques in Syria and other than it are not free from the presence of one grave or more, as though Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, ordered it and did not curse the ones who do such an act! How good an act it would be if, with wisdom, the Ministry tried to cleanse the mosques from such graves. I do not doubt that it is not from wisdom at all to shock general opinion whilst doing that, but rather that before everything else it has to make known the fact that, ‘… graves and mosques do not go together in the religion of Islaam …’ as some of the illustrious scholars have said and a mention of which will follow, and that if they do gather together then it negates making tawhid and worship purely and sincerely for Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, alone–that sincerity in pursuit of which mosques are built [in the first place], as the Most High said, And the mosques are for Allah (Alone), so invoke not anyone along with Allah.” Al-Jinn 72:18.

I believe that making this declaration is obligatory and something which cannot be avoided, and maybe I have been given the success by Allaah to carry it out through this book. For in it I have gathered mutawaatir hadith showing the prohibition of this act, followed by a mention of the schools of thought of the scholars and their established sayings concerning this topic and that they prove such a prohibition. While at the same time bearing witness to the fact that the Imaams, may Allaah be pleased with them, were the most compliant and eager of people to follow the Sunnah and in calling the people to follow it, and warning them against opposing it. But [alas] Allaah, the Most Great, spoke the Truth when He said, “Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up the prayers and have followed lusts–so they will be thrown into Hell.” Maryam 19:59.

Here are the chapters of the book:

Chapter One: A Mention of the Sayings of the Prophet which prohibit taking graves as mosques.
Chapter Two: The Meaning of taking a grave as a mosque.
Chapter Three: That taking graves as mosques is regarded as a major sin.
Chapter Four: Doubts and their clarifications.
Chapter Five: The wisdom behind prohibiting the building of mosques over graves.
Chapter Six: The hatred of praying in mosques which are built on graves.
Chapter Seven: That the previous ruling [mentioned in Chapter Six] applies to all mosques except that of the Prophet’s Mosque [in Medinah].

In the footnotes there are other important sub-chapters which contain important benefits, if Allaah, the Most High, wills.

And I have named it, “Warning the One who Prostrates from Taking Graves as Mosques.”

That is what I had written in the introduction to the first edition.

And I ask Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, to benefit the Muslims with this edition more than its previous one, and that He accepts it from me along with all of my righteous actions with a goodly acceptance and that He reward the one who published it well.

23rd of Jumaada al-Oolaa, 1392
[Wednesday 5th July 1972ce]

Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani.”

Taking Graves as Mosques … 1

Arabic Book CoverOne of the first books that Shaikh al-Albaani, may Allaah have mercy upon him, penned down was the work which I have decided to try and translate with the help and aid of Allaah and His Blessing.  In Arabic it is called تحذير الساجد من اتخاذ القبور المساجد literally, ‘Warning the One who Prostrates from Taking the Graves as Mosques.’  If you haven’t read the short post on the story behind this book, you can read it here.

I request that you ask Allaah to aid me in this project and that you spread these posts to whoever you are able to so that as many people as possible can benefit.  And since you guys come to the blog to hear the Shaikh speak and not me rambling on … here’s the first post from the beginning of the book …


“The Introduction to the Second Edition

In the Name of Allaah, the Entirely Merciful,
the Especially Merciful

All Praise is due to Allaah, we praise Him, and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allaah, the Most High, from the evils of our own selves and from our wicked deeds. Whomsoever has been guided by Allaah, none can misguide him, and whomsoever has been misguided by Allaah, none can guide him. I bear witness that there is no true god worthy of being worshipped except Allaah, Alone, without partner or associate. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His true slave and Messenger.

O you who believe! Fear Allaah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islaam (as Muslims with complete submission to Allaah). Aali Imraan 3:102

O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam) and from him He created his wife, and from them both He created many men and women, and fear Allaah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights) and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allaah is ever an All-Watcher over you. An-Nisaa 4:1

O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him, and speak (always) the Truth, He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allaah and His Messenger, he has indeed achieved a great success. Al-Ahzaab 33: 70-71

As for what follows:

At the end of 1377ah [1958ce] I had had a treatise printed entitled, “Warning the One who Prostrates from Taking the Graves as Places of Worship.” My personal copy of this edition has been at hand with me all this time. Every time I came across an extra benefit that was related to its topic I would add it to it, hoping that it would be inserted whenever an updated and revised edition would be printed. The result was that I ended up having many important additions.

When one of the publishers asked me to give them this copy [which was full of the additions] so that it could be reprinted again, I found that it was missing and could not locate it. When I [finally] gave up hope of finding it, I sent them another one that I borrowed from a friend so that it could [at least] be reprinted as it was [in the first edition], basing this upon the principle that, “That which cannot be gained in its totality, [then at least] its bulk [which you can gain] should not be abandoned.”

It was while the publisher was preparing the book for printing that I found the copy [that had all my notes in it], through the Bounty and Grace of Allaah, the Most High, so I quickly sent it to them, after correcting it and preparing it for the second printing.

Since the treatise in question had specific circumstances and conditions that it was printed under, wisdom dictated that its style was different to the pure academic style which I have followed in all of my books, from composed research and deduction. That was because it was a refutation of people who did not like our call to the Book and the Sunnah upon the methodology of the Pious Predecessors and the path of the four Imaams and other than them who followed them in righteousness.

So they took the first step in writing and refuting, and would that it had been a composed, academic refutation, for then we would have responded with that which was better than it, but it was not, unfortunately. Rather it was devoid of any academic research and was full of abuse, insults and inventions of accusations which had not been heard before.

It was for this reason that we saw that it was not wise to remain silent about them and to leave them to distribute their books among the people without there being a written work removing the mask from the ignorance and the insults that their books contained, “… so that those who were to be destroyed might be destroyed after a clear evidence, and those who were to live might live after a clear evidence …” [Anfaal 8:42], thus there had been no choice but to refute them by name.

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